More than 20 years after its original Broadway success, Agnes of God, John Pielmeier's thoughtful, provocative and electrifying play, is being presented by Masquerade Theatre Company at the Manoel Theatre this coming weekend.
A newborn baby has been found dead, umbilical cord wrapped about its neck, in a waste basket in the room of Agnes, a young nun in a contemplative order.
Agnes, a simple, naïve individual, who was found lying unconscious suffering from severe blood loss at the time of this grim discovery, lacks memory of the conception of the baby and of the events surrounding its birth and death.
Preliminary to her trial for the murder of the child, the court has ordered that Agnes have a psychiatric evaluation. The play's ultimate revelations will unlock some of the answers concerning the baby's birth and death that the psychiatrist is seeking.
However, the play mostly centres on the conflict between Dr Livingstone, the court appointed psychiatrist, and Mother Miriam Ruth, the convent's Mother Superior. The former seeks to uncover the "scientific" truth whereas the latter believes there is a metaphysical explanation for the baby's conception.
For this powerful drama that raises questions about the administration of religion, director Anthony Bezzina has assembled a very strong cast spanning three generations.
Karmen Azzopardi, the doyenne of Maltese theatre, makes a comeback to the Manoel stage to star with top actress Monica Attard. They are joined on stage by the young actress Nadia Vella.
Set design is by Peter Howitt.
Agnes of God will play between Friday and Sunday.
For more details contact Masquerade on telephone 2124 6619 or 7979 3737, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.masquerademalta.com.
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