Year: 1990

Title of the play: The Power and The Glory

Author: Denis Cannan from the novel by Graham Greene

Director: Tim Luscombe

Others in the Cast: John Turner, Jeffry Wickham, Richard Cordery, Stephen Churchett

Company/Event: Chichester Festival

Theatre and location: Chichester Festival Theatre

Other productions of the same play: 

Plot summary: The main character in the story is a nameless "whisky priest", who combines a great power for self-destruction with pitiful cravenness, an almost painful penitence and a desperate quest for dignity. The other main character is a lieutenant of the police who is given the task of hunting down this priest. This Lieutenant is a committed socialist who despises everything that the church stands for.  - Wikipedia

Peth’s role: The Whisky Priest

Reviews: At Chichester, Mr. Petherbridge has risen to the challenge of imprinting his own signature on the role by taking a quiet, self-effacing approach. In his performance, this is not a tortured, larger-than-life figure but a flawed and frightened man burdened by his own sense of unworthiness. Though seemingly small in scale, the characterization is in keeping with the novel, which accents the solitary quality of the priest. As Greene wrote, ''He alone carried a wound, as though a whole world had died.''

Both the play and the novel pose the question of whether or not man needs God, or at least the external trappings of religion. Mr. Petherbridge's character wonders if a bad priest (like himself) is better than no priest at all. Similarly, his nemesis, a police lieutenant, might wonder if a bad revolution is better than no revolution at all. The scene between the two represents the essence of the novel's thesis. … The strength of the production is in Mr. Petherbridge's performance, which rises to a dramatic pitch in his confrontation with the lieutenant (Peter Guinness) as they clash in the philosophical argument that is at the heart of ''The Power and the Glory.'' Mel Gussow, The New York Times, 24 June 1990


Production details:

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Gallery: Pic here


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