Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More More (Doubt - Tricycle)

With my long legs it is not often that I leave a theatre wishing a play had gone on for longer, but Doubt at the Tricycle left wanting more (and not in a good way). The playwright John Shanley has been quoted as saying that he has deliberately left the second act for the audiences imagination, which is all well and good, but maybe he could have been so kind as to fill in some of the gaps in the first.

This may sound harsh but I was frustrated by a play that was just starting to find its feet before coming to an abrupt end. Set in 1963 at a New York Catholic middle school Doubt tells the story of young liberal priest Father Flynn and the conservative school Principal Sister Aloysius who is determined to destroy him after she becomes convinced he is a threat to the young boys in his care. All so bog standard but Shanley decides to muddy the waters by introducing the questions of race and parental responsibility. The alledged victim is the first black kid to attend the school and his mother (a criminally under used Nikki Amuka-Bird) is willing to turn a blind eye to the possibility of Flynn abusing her boy for the sake of protecting his place in the school.

Having thrown these potential explosive ingredients into the mix, Shanley decides to do nothing with them. Instead reverting back to a simple power struggle between the main protagonists.
Its a shame because what there is of this play is well written and well acted. I don't demand resolutions in my theatre I do however want my playwrights to finish what they started.


1 Comments:

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