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The Prisoner - Full Length Play

The Prisoner

Bridget Boland

Full Length Play


Is that of the destruction of one man by another. The Prisoner is a Ca…

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Description | Characters

Full Length Play


Bare Stage/Simple Set

Is that of the destruction of one man by another. The Prisoner is a Cardinal in the Catholic Church of a middle-European country. The Interrogator represents the totalitarian government which has taken over that country and which finds it necessary to destroy the Cardinal whose independence of spirit constitutes a danger to the government. The play is a series of scenes between The Interrogator and The Prisoner, both of whom respect the other, but cannot accept what the other stands for. The Interrogator attacks The Prisoner first in one area, then in another, without effect; his faith and his integrity are so strong they cannot be touched by ordinary means. At first it is The Interrogator who shows the strain of the interviews; he becomes desperate in his search for some weapon to break The Prisoner's spirit. The relationship between the two men is a complex one, almost that of friendship. The Interrogator believes so deeply in what his government is doing that he feels he is actually trying to bring The Prisoner to the truth; it is as if he were the priest, trying to save a soul. The Prisoner's knowledge of the real truth remains intact until The Interrogator discovers his antagonist's one vulnerable spot—his deep sense of personal guilt. Playing on that, The Interrogator is able to undermine The Prisoner's belief in his vocation, in his right to be a priest—and eventually so twists and confuses him that the confession is signed and The Prisoner is destroyed. But in destroying The Prisoner's faith, The Interrogator has destroyed his own in his government, and in what he has been doing. He realizes that what he has ruined was something more noble than his own cause.
The play on which the highly successful movie was based. A tense and absorbing account of a confrontation between two men who represent two diametrically opposed beliefs.




several non-speaking parts

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