Stella Gonet is to star in Doubt, A Parable by John Patrick Shanley one of the most acclaimed plays in recent memory.
Playing Sister Aloysius Beauvier, a conservative head nun and school principal who questions a priest’s ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student, Stella said: “I was so excited to read this play. It is an amazing, page turning, perfectly paced thriller, with brilliantly written roles. The chance to pull out the complex strands of Sister Aloysius and examine them, that certainty of hers, the shaking of that certainty, it’s the sort of challenge you hope to get at least once in your career.”
Stella is a hugely experienced stage and screen actress with many starring roles at the National Theatre (Skylight, Racing Demon and Ophelia in Hamlet opposite Daniel Day-Lewis), the RSC and West End (most recently she played Mrs Thatcher in the Olivier Award-winning Handbagged), who became a household name for her lead role in the BBC1 fashion drama The House of Elliott, that ran three years and was watched by 12million people.
Winning 4 Tony Awards including Best Play, named Best Play by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Best New Play (Drama Desk Awards) and Outstanding Play (Lucille Lortel Awards). Doubt, A Parable won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The subsequent Hollywood film starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis, received 4 Oscar and 3 BAFTA nominations.
“What do you do when you’re not sure?” asks Father Flynn, the progressive and beloved priest at the St. Nicholas Church School in the Bronx, in his sermon. It’s 1964, and things are changing, to the chagrin of rigid principal Sister Aloysius. However, when an unconscionable accusation is levelled against the Father, Sister Aloysius realises that the only way to get justice is to create it herself. And as for the truth of the matter? As Father Flynn says, “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.” In stunning prose, John Patrick Shanley delves into the murky shadows of moral certainty, his characters always balancing on the thin line between truth and consequences.
Doubt, A Parable is an exquisite, potent drama that raises questions and answer none, leaving the audience to grapple with the discomfort of their uncertainties.
Doubt, A Parable, directed by Ché Walker, is to get it’s first London revival in 10 years at Southwark Playhouse from Wednesday 6 September to Saturday 30 September 2017.
Photo: Paul Nicholas Dyke