What do you do when you're not sure? That's the question addressed throughout 'Doubt', the best-selling Tony award-winning play at The Abbey.

A popular young priest (Kelly) is suspected of abusing a child by an older nun (Brennan), though she is armed by nothing more than circumstantial evidence. As she embarks on her mission to have him removed from the school, using a subordinate nun (Reeves) to aid her in her investigations, she causes the other cast members to question their opinions and beliefs.

Writer John Patrick Shanley, winner of an Oscar for Best Screenplay (for 'Moonstruck') in 1988, gives us a good insight into the workings of the minds as he displays each of the four characters biases, beliefs and quirks. The best of this is seen as our first questions over the principal's certainty arise when she displays a clear unwillingness to open up to anything modern or liberal, the two qualities that her nemesis oozes in abundance.

The contrast between the characters plays beautifully and serves to emphasise the questions that have been created in their minds. As soon as one seems to have had their deepest suspicions confirmed something surprises them and causes them to reassess their conclusions.

Aidan Kelly and Bríd Brennan excel in the respective roles as priest and principal, highlighting the gulf of difference that lies between the accuser and the accused, while Geema Reeves and Starla Benford complement them as the supporting characters, the latter as the mother of the child at the centre of the accusations.

The religious backdrop to a play delving into the world of doubt works brilliantly. The certainty of religious belief and faith of the characters contrasts with the questions that they find in the depths of conscience.

'Doubt' is a riveting watch that delves deep into human nature and the reasoning behind how we come to conclusions regarding other people.

Patrick Kennedy