Photos – Philip Erbacher

Didn’t know whether to genuflect or cross myself, douse myself in holy water, although there was no font, finger my rosary, fiddle with my scapula as I entered the hallowed space of the Reginald Theatre for the opening night of A Case for the Existence of God.

High church music and smoke dense enough to emanate from a thrice of thurible makes one expect some ecclesiastical thrust and joust, a truth in advertising from the play’s title.

There may well be a case for the existence of God in A Case for the Existence of God, but most likely it will be a hung jury. Theology and philosophy are not centre stage here. Rather empathy and human connection.

Sharing is caring, they say, and sharing is a word used a lot in A Case for the Existence of God. Two gentlemen sharing a specific kind of sadness.

Ryan is white, blue collar, heterosexual, recently divorced, father to a two year old daughter. Keith is black, white collar, gay, foster father to a two year old daughter. The two meet at their kids’ day care centre and at the beginning of the play, Ryan has engaged Keith as a mortgage broker in the pursuit of a loan to buy his ancestral home. How the land was lost and Ryan’s family history is one of the key spokes of the ever spinning wheels of this story.

Wheels within wheels, A Case for the Existence of God gains dramatic traction as the story treads through each man’s life, their past and present intersecting in surprising coincidence.

Writer Samuel D. Hunter, author of The Whale, juggles multiple points of view that fuel the conflict between the two men whose similarity, their basic humanity, is far greater than their differences.

Anthony Gooley presents a veneered fragility as Ryan, fearful of not being the father he wishes to be, a failure as crushing and crippling as his marital and financial state. Elijah Williams as Keith exudes a bonhomie which is also a veneer, a crusty carapace evolved from his own childhood’s exclusion growing up black and gay in small town America.  

Craig Baldwin, director and sound designer, stages the duo’s dynamic with empathetic economy augmented by a set and lighting design by Veronique Benett.

Event details

Outhouse Theatre and Seymour Centre present
A Case for the Existence of God
by Samuel D. Hunter

Director Craig Baldwin

Venue: Seymour Centre, Corner City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale NSW
Dates: 11 April – 4 May 2024
Tickets: $54 – $44
Bookings: www.seymourcentre.com | (02) 7255 1561

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