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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

A Case for the Existence of God, at Red Stitch Theatre - 85 minutes, without interval

Updated: Apr 19

Keith (Kevin Hofbauer) is a single, black, gay mortgage broker and caretaker of a young foster daughter.

 

Ryan (Darcy Kent) is an undereducated, recently divorced, white, factory worker with a daughter the same age as Keith’s.

 

The two young’uns attend the same day care centre in Twin Falls in Idaho.

 

Ryan is desperate to buy a parcel of land, which was formerly owned by his great grandparents.

Photos by Jodie Hutchinson


Keith is out to help him, but Ryan – who is far from flush with funds – is overwhelmed by the financial jargon Keith is sprouting.

 

In fact, he is ready to walk away until the pair bonds over their daughters and their shared hopes and dreams for the children.

 

But there is a sadness and desperation about both Ryan and Keith.

 

Ryan’s parents were both drug addicts and he lost his father when he was still at primary school. His financial predicament is dire and it is about to get much worse.

 

Keith came from solid stock, but the birth mother of his foster daughter is preparing to make a play to get her back. It is something he simply can’t countenance.

A Case for the Existence of God was written by one of America’s most celebrated contemporary playwrights, Samuel D. Hunter.

 

In the work, he tackles the harsh realities of life with humour and pathos.

 

Both Ryan and Keith are facing crises and coping can be and is difficult. That is when they lean on each other, but even then, it is far from smooth sailing.

 

We learn more about the pair as the narrative develops and twists are introduced.

 

Among the most glorious moments in the production are when the two dads watch their youngsters play together.

Kevin Hofbauer and Darcy Kent excel in their characterisations of the troubled duo.

 

Hofbauer breaks down Keith’s professional veneer to expose vulnerability, while Kent imbues Ryan with misplaced faith.

 

They bring compelling intensity to their respective performances.

 

An office setting is literally surrounded by water, suggestive of the sense of drowning that permeates the minds of the protagonists.


The creative set design is by Jeremy Pryles, who is also responsible for costuming.

Director Gary Abrahams ensures maximum impact from the material. The characters are forever teetering on the edge.

 

Mental health gets a real working over in A Case for the Existence of God, which received the 2022 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

 

It is not hard to see why. It is rich and redolent, and on at Red Stitch Theatre until 12th May, 2024.

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