tue 17/09/2019

The Walshes, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

The Walshes, BBC Four

The Walshes, BBC Four

Time to meet Dublin's daftest family

Family misfortunes for Graham Linehan's latest batch of comic misfits

Zany Dublin family comprising eccentric parents, neurotic daughter and dozy slacker son prepare to meet daughter's new boyfriend... Sound promising? No not especially, but The Walshes is written by Graham Linehan (with help from the "Diet of Worms" comedy troupe), and where there's Linehan there's always hope.

This first episode of three was entitled "Doctor Burger", a clue to the absurd case of mistaken identity that propelled it through its whimsical 30 minutes. Excitement gripped the Walsh household at the news that Graham (daughter Ciara's potential boyfriend, played by Shane Langan) was a doctor. Not quite - in fact he works at the fast food outlet Doctor Burger - but "he's always talking about how he wants to examine her," according to son Rory (Rory Connolly). With characters as daft as these, this offered more than enough rope (pictured below, Shane Langan with Amy Stephenson as Ciara).

There's a running gag about dad Tony (Niall Gaffney) and his recurring bottom problem, which he refers to as an "anal event". As a skint Dublin cabbie, he doesn't have cash to flash on costly medical consultations, so no sooner had the timorous Graham shuffled across the Walsh threshold than Tony was pulling down his trousers and bending over so the "doctor" could get a good look ("it's like a rubbery M&M behind me scrotum," Tony explained).

Likewise, mum Carmel (Philippa Dunne), who likes to fuss and interfere to the point of delirium, was soon imparting far too much information to the aghast Graham - "Ciara can be a little tricky when it comes to her monthly visitor..." When Graham sat down with the family for dinner, he was mortified to see Tony looking down at his lap and apparently addressing his aberrant male member ("get down, you!"), as the camera helpfully showed us viewers the dog sitting under the table.

Ridiculous (and somewhat gross) to be sure, and it was hard to imagine how the Walshes had ever got it together to buy a house, open a bank account, go shopping or master any of the other basic essentials of existence. Even when Graham eventually explained that he worked in a burger restaurant, Tommy took a while to get it. "As a doctor?" he blurted out. But it ended on a promising note, with Graham assuring Ciara that "I feel I've got a rapport with your dad now." The poor deluded fool.

Dad Tony (Niall Gaffney) has a recurring bottom problem, which he refers to as an 'anal event'

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.