The Old Fitz Theatre filled up quickly for the opening night of the play ‘Doubt: A Parable’. Before the start of the play, the stage could be closely examined. The set design was very minimalistic — all in grey, with a desk and a chair in one corner and a second chair in the other corner. Because it was kept so minimalistic, the audience was intrigued and knew that there would be a lot of focus on the actors and their acting ability.
The actors didn’t disappoint. The play was set in a monastery school in the 1960s with the older nun, Sister Aloysious (played by Belinda Giblin), functioning as the strict principal. There were also the young nun, Sister James (Matilda Ridgway) as the new and very insecure teacher; and Father Flynn (played by Damian de Montemas), as the very charming villain of the story.
As the title suggests, the whole story revolves around doubt and how the different characters deal with it. But the framework of the story is set by the question: whether Father Flynn gave alcohol to a 12-year-old male student to subdue him, or not.
Belinda Giblin’s performance was especially memorable and convincing. She played an old and seemingly cold nun, who is feared by all students. But it turns out that she is the one who cares the most about the students’ welfare and would do everything to protect them from a predator.
The play also shows the frustrating and strict limitations of the church and their often unhealthy and harmful obsession with hierarchy. It also shows the racial problems of the time — how the mother of the possibly-abused boy doesn’t want to know the truth, and would rather hide it because the boy has enough problems to deal with due to the colour of his skin.
This play is for everybody who enjoys thought-provoking entertainment.
Monique Pitzer was born and raised in Germany, where she also started working as a freelance journalist and freelance writer. She moved to Australia and started a business as a writer, translator, and tutor.
Doubt: A Parable is running until 3 June 2017 at the Old Fitz Theatre in Woolloomooloo. Buy tickets online.
The theatre is accessible via a side entrance.