Saturday, April 08, 2006

When in Doubt

On Wednesday evening I went to see the Sydney Theatre Company production of Doubt. Written by John Patrick Shanley, it is "the most acclaimed new American play of the year" (eight awards are listed on the MTC website).

The play is showing at the Playhouse at the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne.

A priest, Father Flynn (Christopher Gabardi from Channel 7's 'All Saints'), delivers a sermon built around the concept of 'Doubt'. It is evident by his accent that Father Flynn is from The Bronx and from the content of his speech it is not long after President Kennedy has been murdered, placing us in a New York Catholic school in the mid-1960s.

We are then introduced to Sister Aloysius, Principal of the school, who has called in Sister James, a younger nun in charge of class 8B, for a conference.

Sister Aloysius (Jennifer Flowers, After The Ball) is convinced that the easy relationship Father Flynn develops with the male students is hiding something more sinister.

Sister James is a naive and enthusiastic teacher who sees the good in everyone until the conference with Sister Aloysius makes her begin to doubt her rose-coloured view.

The play is mildly unsettling. There is no definitive proof of any interference with a child and with Father Flynn protesting his innocence Sister Aloysius investigates and tries to hound him into an admission.

Sister James is not convinced either way. Sister Aloysius is certain that a crime has been committed. Father Flynn explains the situation as straightforward. The boy's mother (Pamela Jikiemi) is not interested in the accusations made by Sister Aloysius.

The answer is not clear cut. Either story is possible. Although not as powerful as the previous production presented by the MTC, Ray's Tempest, it will stay with you; a story to turn over in your mind.

There is no resolution, only Doubt.


Blogger noshie said...

I think that it's fabulous of you to see so much theatre. I haven't had much chance lately. Adie doesn't seem to want to see anything until September! What's the world coming to.

4/20/2006 09:50:00 pm  

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