Pay to pray

Monkish skulduggery at the Blue Room

Ah, those quaint, hilarious Middle Ages. Back then, for the right price you could buy your way out of sin, and divine retribution could be transformed into divine indulgence by emptying your pockets into the coffers of the Church. And if your monastery or church possessed a holy relic—the thighbone of Saint Egbert or the head of John the Baptist—holy pilgrims would travel to your place of business, I mean worship, to pay for the privilege of asking said relic to intercede for them in their petitions to God.

Such is the setup for Michael Hollinger’s Incorruptible, in which a group of medieval monks at the poverty-stricken French monastery of Priseaux decide to go into the relic business in a big way.

Jeremy Votava, as the domineering Brother Martin, makes a fine loud-mouthed bully, ostensibly the second in command of the monastery, but actually much more on top of the operation than the abbot, Charles, played a bit tentatively by John Lighty as an aging monk who still actually believes that the purpose of the priesthood is to bring comfort and succor to the congregation of the Church.

The arrival of the wily one-eyed minstrel Jack—DNA in long wig and fetching turquoise tunic—and his charming companion Marie, as played by Jessica Perry, is instigated by Marie’s conniving mother, an unnamed Peasant Woman played to gleeful perfection by Jodi Rives. Rives’ effectively stole every scene she was in, by fully inhabiting rather than simply playing her character. The Perry and DNA combo is also much fun to watch, as their characters share very true-to-life chemistry.