Taximan turned playwright Martin O’Brien, is bringing his hilarious golf-themed farce ‘Your Honour, Your Honour’ - billed a cross between Caddyshack and Fawlty Towers - to the Waterside Theatre for one night only on Saturday, October 25.
The St Brecan’s old boy and one-time Newbuildings resident is currently enjoying a period of prolific output, just five years after taking up the pen with real intent for the first time.
Martin first burst on the scene with his debut ‘Two Little Boys’ in 2010, which centred on the sibling rivalry of two brothers travelling to a Donegal hotel to carry out what could only be described as a ‘dodgy’ deal.
This was followed by ‘True Colours’ in 2012, which was based around a long-fractured relationship between a father and his daughter.
His latest work, ‘Your Honour, Your Honour,’ got its first airing last year and is a comedy set in a dilapidated clubhouse, where members never see eye-to-eye.
Part comedy of manners, part farce and set against the back drop of a dysfunctional golf club, it’s laugh-a-minute, as Martin explains.
“The play is set in a golf club the night before a big final between the Judge [played by Paul O’Doherty] and his wife [played by Helen McLaughlin] and they’re supposed to be playing this guy Terry Smalls [played by Eaman Craig - who some will recognise as Londonderry MC Wileman] who joined the golf club after winning the lottery,” says Martin.
Judge Samuel Doe and his wife Florence expect to win the mixed doubles for the umpteenth time but they don’t expect Terry and his girlfriend Wendy Telford [played by Louise Duddy from Drumahoe] to come and rain on their parade...and rain and rain.
Not only is the golf destroyed but so are their lives as havoc hits the clubhouse.
“The Judge put young Terry away a few years before for shop-lifting and gave him a very stiff sentence so there’s a bit of conflict between them two!”
“I supposed it’s a play about class but it’s also a farce really. It’s a very visual play, there’s a bit of slapstick in it, especially the second half, it’s very visual,” says Martin.
The Waterside Theatre show follows well-received outings at both a local golf club and the Alley Theatre in Strabane.
“We ran it last year and got good feedback and we ran it again and did the golf club there. It’s perfect for a golf club. It’s a bit Fawlty Towers too. We have Peter the barman, and Peter’s wife who is a bit of an alcoholic,” he adds.
Martin is currently a busy man. As well as playing the role of Joe McAllister in ‘Your Honour, Your Honour,’ he’s also working on a new pantomime and a first play without a strong comic element.
“This is my third play. I’ve been writing about five years now. I was taxiing and when I started off, I suppose, the angle was: ‘Taxi man writes play.’
“I’m writing my fourth play now. I’ve just written a pantomime too, for the Gasyard, and I wrote a short film for the Barman Duffy exhibition last year.”
But he’s not complaining about the busy schedule and intends continuing in the same vein whilst the ideas continues to flow.
“Well, I’m in a good place at the moment. I’m currently working on a more serious play, which is set in Altnagelvin Hospital. It’s about these two families coming together. There’s a bit of politics in it.
“I’ve always written about what I know and I suppose this is the first time I’ve attempted anything outside of that. When I was younger I used to play a lot of golf and all of that has gone into ‘Your Honour, Your Honour.’
“I’ve worked with Gerry [Newton - local theatre veteran and director of ‘Your Honour, Your Honour] for a while, we’ve got a great wee team. We’re trying to set up a new theatre company and we’re half way to getting there. We’re just trying to get a constitution together.”
Martin says it’s been a great privilege working with the cast on the current production and promises that anyone who comes along to the Waterside Theatre is in for a good night’s crack.
“It’s really funny, the tables turn on the Judge. it’s just a fun play.”
The show starts at 8pm on Saturday, October 25. To book tickets visit: http://www.watersidetheatre.com/events/byevent/382