Father of Lies

It was on the night of 11th December 1973 that it happened in the Bavarian town of Würzburg, a confession by a distraught priest that he had murdered his best friend and his own infant son, but when the police arrived at the house in the snowbound forest they found only one adult body, the remains of baby Gebhard never to be found and the case closed the following year when Anselm Lurhamm was sent to prison to consider whether his shocking actions were a deadly sin or carried out in the name of God.

The mystery surrounding the case discussed by Steve Griffin and Nathan Jones in Father of Lies, they focus on the oddities and coincidences, Lurhmann having found Abigail Klein whom he was to marry when she was homeless and seeking sanctuary in his church, the missing years of her life and the indications she may have been involved in the cult of the Alder King during this period, a cult which may have counted Luhrmann’s best friend, the victim, among its number.

The bare room set up like a darkened lecture theatre with an old-fashioned slide projector screen upon which they present their evidence and documentation, before beginning they gauge the receptivity of the audience to the material they are about to discuss, the belief in the supernatural and ghosts, witches and curses, God and the Devil, setting the scene for “one of the most famous and gruesome murders in Germany.”

Advertised as “Making a Murderer meets Rosemary’s Baby,” the formal presentation of Father of Lies covers the first part of that claim while the story told takes care of the second, and had it remained in that format, while perhaps dry it would have been more effective, but acting is a very different skill than lecturing and with the attempts to dramatise the key events the flat dialogue and very obvious lack of talent of one of the pair somewhat undermines what they aim to achieve.

Father of Lies continues at Sweet at Novotel until August 25th

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