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Answering to the Governor
By John Hoyle
The Lowry, 6 August 2011

Answering to the Governor

This is an intelligent, subtle, thought-provoking play, superbly acted by the three principals: Hylton Collins, Richard Dobson and Chris Kerry.

The play centres on a teacher in a Catholic school who tells a pupil that he doesn’t believe in God.  Was he right to do so?  There is the view that children should always be told the truth, but perhaps the pill might be sweetened just a little bit – white lies and all that.  And what are children really asking, when they seek assurance about God’s existence?

I have one very slight niggle about the play, which is that the headmaster’s reasons for his difficulties in believing in God (the sufferings of the innocent) are rather too similar to those given by Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov.  But otherwise this is top-notch stuff: concentrated, compelling, convincing drama.  Richly involving, and not at all dry.

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