The Stag


Fionnán (O’Conor) isn’t happy with the effort that the wedding planner is putting in to his and Ruth’s (Huberman) big day and as a result stress is being ratcheted up to an intolerable level. The answer; send Fionnán on the stag he doesn’t want to go on in order to relieve stress and get him out of Ruth’s hair for a few days. The one problem with a stag, apart from Fionnán being a total drip with zero interest in fun, is that Ruth’s brother will have to attend. It seems “The Machine” (McDonald) is not flavour of the month and once he arrives all hell breaks loose, as he forces the stag party attendees to face some home truths and open themselves to a little more adventure than they would normally be comfortable with.

It’s a simple story told in a simple fashion as the various characters within the group come together in order to try their best to enjoy a stag party that no one seems to want to be on. There is the intellect, the drip, the cash strapped business failure, the gay couple and the of course “The Machine”, which is code for the macho idiot, who just might have something more to offer the group than their initial prejudicial judgements expect. There is very little new here as this coming of age story, for grown ups, forces them to face their faults and reach beyond their boundaries.

The cast are decent with Andrew Scott delivering more than most as the heartbroken Davin, while Peter McDonald, a co-writer, brings the truly obnoxious “The Machine” to life with absurd behaviour and unending verbal abuse directed at anyone who disagrees with his point of view. O’Conor is convincingly drippy as Fionnán and Huberman is her usual pleasant and likeable self. The other cast members complete the ensemble admirably and there is a good chemistry in evidence amongst the group.

It’s very much a by the numbers show with decent laughs, but it never really knocks it out of the park which is a pity because it tries very hard.