Monica Dolan  Sam Spruell

Doubt: A Parable

By John Patrick Shanley

Festival TheatreTicketsPrice: from £10
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Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.

Set in 1960s New York, Doubt is the gripping portrayal of the clash between two compelling characters. 

School principal Sister Aloysius Beauvier is wedded to tradition and unafraid to fight for her beliefs, while the basketball-playing priest and teacher Father Brendan Flynn is liberal-minded and charismatic. As mutual suspicion mounts, their actions become an epic battle of wills from which no one will emerge unscathed; but where does the truth lie?

John Patrick Shanley’s celebrated 2005 play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, and later became an Oscar-nominated film.

An inspired study in moral uncertainty with the compellingly certain structure of an old-fashioned detective drama -  New York Times

That rarity of rarities, an issue-driven play that is unpreachy, thought-provoking and full of high drama - Wall Street Journal 

A lean, potent drama… passionate, exquisite, important, and engrossing - Newsday

Monica Dolan makes her Chichester debut as Sister Aloysius. Her BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning stage and screen work includes TV’s W1A, Appropriate Adult, A Very English Scandal and Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads; recent theatre includes Talking Heads (Bridge Theatre), Appropriate (Donmar Warehouse), All About Eve (West End) and her own play The B*easts.

Sam Spruell also appears at Chichester for the first time as Father Flynn. He has starred in many films and TV series, most recently The North Water, Small Axe: Mangrove, Liar and Cold Blood. His theatre roles include Iago in Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe), Clybourne Park (Royal Court) and The Life of Galileo and The Alchemist (National Theatre).

Jessica Rhodes (Sister James) was nominated for The Stage Debut Award 2020 for the Best Performer in a Play and won the Off-West End Offie Award 2021 for Lead Performance in a Play for The Sugar Syndrome at the Orange Tree Theatre.

Rebecca Scrogg’s theatre credits include Ravens (Hampstead Theatre), Steel (Sheffield Crucible) and The Suicide (National Theatre), and on TV, Before We Die, Grace, Flack and Alex Rider.

Director Lia Williams was BAFTA-nominated for her short film The Stronger which won Best Short Film at Raindance; other directing credits include Ashes to Ashes as part of the Harold Pinter Season in the West End. She is also a multi award-winning actor.

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Cast & Creatives

Cast includes

  • Monica Dolan

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier
  • Sam Spruell

    Father Brendan Flynn
  • Jessica Rhodes

    Sister James
  • Rebecca Scroggs

    Mrs Muller

Creative team

Cast List

Lia Williams


Joanna Scotcher


Paul Keogan

Lighting Designer

Melanie Pappenheim and Giles Perring

Music and Sound

Charlotte Sutton

Casting Director

Access performances

Access performances

Events grouped by day with booking links.
DateEventTimeAvailabilityBooking Link
February 2022
CaptionedTickets available.Tickets
Audio DescribedTickets available.Tickets
Audio DescribedTickets available.Tickets

View our full list of access performances

Linked Events


Pricing Information

Price bands for an event, organised by showing
Performance description Price Bands
Mon - Thu performances£10£18£26£34£39
Fri & Sat performances £10£18£29£38£41
  • Friends and Concessions Monday - Thursday: £2 off
  • Groups 8+ Monday -Thursday: 10% off
  • Schools and Student Groups 10+ Monday - Thursday: £8.50 per ticket; one free teacher ticket with every nine paid
  • All venues: Only one reduction applies per ticket, and all discounts are subject to availability and at the discretion of the Box Office.
  • All venues: Discounts do not apply on Previews and Press Nights
  • Festival Theatre: Discounts apply to top three price bands only (apart from Schools and College Groups)

  • Friends: Up to four discounted tickets per production
  • Access tickets may be available for Access Members Log in to your account to see Access seats
  • £5 Prologue Tickets may be available for 16-30 year olds Log in to your account to see Prologue seats

Q&A with Director Lia Williams

We caught up with director Lia Williams to find out more about this Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play and what audiences can expect.

Doubt was written in 2004 and set in the 1960s - why are you putting it on now?

As the title suggests, this is a play about doubt. The opposite of doubt is certainty. Human beings feel safe with certainty. Today, especially in the world of social media, to express certainty in any social-political context, is seen as a strength, whereas doubt and uncertainty can seem to be fuzzy, weak-minded or idealistic; without defined borders - a grey area. If we condemn, from a place of unwavering certainty, we can feel sure-footed in the patterns of our belief systems and so we don’t need to ask questions. John Patrick Shanley’s play challenges the core of this received thinking and asks us to be open to all sides of an argument.

This play is a thrilling stand-alone, character-driven story but, for me, it rings a clear bell of warning to us all, right here and now, to stay fundamentally alive to ideas, not to be trapped by our thinking minds, to seek opinions, even ones we don’t like and don’t agree with and to stay open and prepared to learn. 

Why should people come to see it?

People should come in droves! It’s a stunning opportunity to see superb acting from top class award-winning actors. It’s a play that will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s entertaining, witty and ferocious in its delivery of a razor-sharp text. I believe you will leave the theatre richly satisfied having witnessed a truly engaging story. Plus, without an interval, it will fly by!

What do you hope audiences will take away?

Uncertainty. We need to challenge everything we are told and question everything we see.

Why did you want to direct Doubt?

I’m driven and inspired by great writing and the chance to direct a story with four fascinatingly different characters. This particular cast will set the Chichester stage alight. They are (without doubt) going to be magnificent!

Describe Doubt in three words

Topical, witty, dangerous.

Content and Themes

At CFT, we want everyone to feel truly welcome and comfortable. While we try not to spoil anyone’s enjoyment by giving away ‘spoilers’ such as plot twists and narrative surprises, we also recognise that some people may find certain themes distressing. You’ll find guidance on such content below; please be aware that by reading this, some elements of the plot may be revealed. Please note that this may be updated nearer the time of the production as staging details are confirmed.

If you have any questions or feedback, do email us at


Language: None
Nudity: None
Violence: None
Themes: The relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the community. Suspected child sexual abuse. Belief, trust, moral certainty.