Review- Doubt: A Parable- Sweet & Sour Productions


By: Lisa Middleton


If ‘satisfaction is a vice’, as Sister Aloysius says, then I have found a new vice.  I expected to be impressed with this play having heard so many positive things from last year’s run but I was not expecting to be blown away with everything about the play!  


The set is authentic in its simplicity - real leaves on the floor for the garden and the dial telephone, which brought back childhood memories. But what made the open set even more remarkable was the use of lighting to separate each section.  I don’t think I have ever been to a show before and felt like I was watching a movie. The use of the stage and lighting made this happen easily.  The interjections of news reports were great benchmarking for reminding us of the era and its subsequent issues that affected the characters' personas.  


Written by John Patrick Shanley and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2005 the writing is clearly first class but could easily be ruined by poor delivery. Thankfully, that was not the case in Sweet and Sour’s production.  Each of the four actors were perfectly cast and the delivery of each of their parts flawless. There was not a stumble or a pause to be found which probably added to the film-like quality of the production.  Heather Cooper as Sister James was charming in her delivery of a new sister who loved teaching and was trying to create a passion for learning with her students in her class. Her struggles to keep within the confines of her role but still embrace the modernity of the day were clearly portrayed. 


Rob Archibald was stoic and believable as Father Brendan Flynn; he almost made me want to go to confessional and I’m not Catholic!  His stance in the onslaught of doubt and conjecture was amazing. Alexandra Jacobs' portrayal of Mrs. Muller was delightfully realistic. Even though it was only a small part she managed to give the audience a real sense of her internal and external struggles. 


For me, even though every single actor on that stage was brilliant, it was Vicki Rummun’s portrayal of Sister Aloysius Beauvier which made the show: her accent, comedic timing (yes comedy, who knew) and her physicality (that black habit made her look like a crow) were flawless.  


The manipulations and interactions between each character created a full circle of empathy. Your own ‘doubt’ (about many things) may be questioned as you watch this drama unfold.  I loved the underlying tone of constraints between genders and expectations of roles in the writing of the play and era (but then again I am a Mad Men addict).  There was nothing I disliked about this play apart from the fact I have no time to see it again. 


This is a sheer quality production. I have seen a lot worse for a lot more money, meaning that you must to go see this play – the run is short, people, so give up a happy hour for once! 

Doubt is playing through June 6th. For more information, click here.


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hongkong, theatre, review

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 3.4


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