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Catholic group unhappy with Colm Toibin's 'Mary' play on Broadway

March 28, 2013|By David Ng
  • Colm Toibin's play "The Testament of Mary" is set to open on Broadway in April.
Colm Toibin's play "The Testament of Mary" is set to open… (Phoebe Ling / Scribner )

A Catholic group is speaking out against a new Broadway play by Irish novelist Colm Toibin that offers an alternative interpretation of the life of the Virgin Mary. "The Testament of Mary," starring Fiona Shaw, began preview performances this week at the Walter Kerr Theatre. 

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property published a lengthy statement on its website in which it called the play "blasphemous."

"The Irish writer gives free rein to his imagination when expressing his contempt for the Gospels, Christian tradition, and Mary Most Holy," the group wrote.

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The group also noted that the play is written by "an avowed homosexual" and "is being performed and directed by open lesbians, namely, Irish actress Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner."

"The Testament of Mary" is a one-woman play that Toibin adapted from his own novella. The narrative follows Mary after the crucifixion of Jesus and depicts her as an angry, embittered woman who doubts her son's divinity.

The society charges that the play is "not only blasphemous but heretical. It presents a caricature of the Blessed Virgin Mary and implicitly denies all of the dogmas the Church has defined in her regard."

Playbill reported that a group of nearly 50 protesters, including some children, stood across from the Walter Kerr Theatre before a preview performance this week. The play, which is produced by Scott Rudin, is scheduled to officially open on April 22.

Shaw previously performed on Broadway in Warner's acclaimed production of "Medea" in 2002.


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