Belfast Telegraph

Secrets are revealed in this bus trip of the soul

Review: The Holy Holy Bus at Waterfront Hall

By Grania McFadden

Brassneck's irreverent comedy about three women who climb on board the West Belfast Holy Holy Bus on a pilgrimage around Ireland's most sacred sites was, says writer Pearse Elliott, inspired by his grandmother Lily.

Here, the wise and foolhardy Lily, plagued by ill-health and yearning for a ciggie, is played by Stella McCusker. She's looked after by daughter Sally (Roisin Gallagher), whose been branded 'barren' by her deserting husband, and persuades her to take 'one last adventure' and see if they can spot Our Lady while enjoying a bit of fresh air.

The Holy Holy bus awaits ­- as does its driver, pious Perpetua (Claire Connor). The three are all set for a journey of the soul, when another passenger turns up.

Rita isn't your typical pilgrim. She's from the Shankhill, for a start. She likes a drink and a smoke; enjoys the occasional 'medicinal' cookie, and has smuggled a bottle of vodka and a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey into her rucksack. Nevertheless, she wants to find out about Ireland, and whether there's anything in this faith malarkey.

Rita (played by Caroline Curran, star of 50 Shades of Red, White and Blue) makes friends with Lily and enemies with Perpetua as the bus makes its rickety way across the island.

As they cover the miles, the four women reveal the secrets in their past and their hopes for the future. And, like the rickety bus, God moves in mysterious ways for all of them.

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