My play of the year: Inherit the Wind

I had my best theatrical experience of 2009 last night, seeing Inherit the Wind at London’s Old Vic.

My expectations of this 1955 dramatisation of the 1925 Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’ were high, after its excellent reviews. And of course the political debate over teaching evolution and  creationism still very much alive.

David Troughton (left) and Kevin Spacey

David Troughton (left) and Kevin Spacey

But I did not expect the revival to bring tears to my eyes, as happened on several occasions last night. I found the clash between biblical intolerance (with David Troughton playing the William Jennings Bryan prosecutor in the original trial) and liberal freethinking (Kevin Spacy in the role of Darwinian defender Clarence Darrow) extraordinarily moving.

Inherit the Wind is on at the Old Vic till December 20. Catch it if you can.

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