More courage than conviction

“Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy; because conviction is a resting place and doubt is infinite; it is a passionate exercise. You may come out of my play uncertain. You may want to be sure. Look down on that feeling. We’ve got to learn to live with a full measure of uncertainty. There is no last word. That’s the silence under the chatter of our time.”

So wrote John Patrick Shanley in his Preface to ‘Doubt, a Parable’, which was written in 2004.

I went along to Shift Theatre Company’s production of ‘Doubt, a Parable’ last night.

I wasn’t familiar with the play at all (it’s a film too with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, so it’s one to add to my list I guess) but I thoroughly enjoyed the performances and the production. Shanley won a Tony award in 2005 for the play, and it really is a stunning piece of writing, tight and evocative.

Starring Niamh Clancy, Glen Forbes, Sarah Allen Clarke, Donna Anita Nikolaisen, directed by Joyce Ward and produced by Bernie McNelis, this Shift production was a wonderful and though-provoking night’s theatre.

Set in 1964 in a Bronx Catholic school, the principal grapples with her doubts, doubts about the parish priest and about her own faith. Still very relevant in the Ireland of 2010, the ending led to an interesting discussion after the play, over a drink in the bar of the Teachers Club.

The performance on Monday night raised over €700 for the charity One in Four, which supports adult victims of child sexual abuse.

The play runs (8pm nightly) until Saturday 17th July, with a matinee (2pm) on Saturday 17th July.

The venue is Theatre@36, 36 Parnell Square West, (The Teachers Club), opposite The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin 1.

Tickets are available from for €15/€12 (booking fee applies).


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