Hornby reviews three theater performances, including Doubt directed by John Patrick Shanley and performed at the Broadway in New York City, The Pillowman directed by Martin McDonagh and performed at the Broadway in New York City, and Tartuffe directed by Jon Kellam and performed in Los Angeles.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Beyond a Reasonable DoubtIN THE JANUARY 17, 2005 ISSUE of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin published an article entitled "Killer Instincts," about an Arizona prosecutor who was disbarred for intentionally presenting false evidence in death-penalty cases. Toobin interviewed staff members at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University Law School, who pointed out that such prosecutors never set out to frame someone they know to be innocent. They always believe the person to be guilty; a "gut instinct" takes over, which becomes the ultimate reality. Since they just know whether a defendant is guilty or innocent, why worry about niceties of evidence? Unfortunately, that kind of arrogance is all too common, which is why there are so many wrongful convictions. Self-righteousness tends to corrupt.I thought of Toobin's essay while watching John Patrick Shanley's splendid new play Doubt, which transferred from the Manhattan Theatre Club stage last fall to Broadway in spring. I had been dubious about the piece, because descriptions made i...