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Colleen Curran

Toronto, Playwrights Canada Press, 1990. 122pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-88754-484-3. CIP

Reviewed by Pat Bolger.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

A religious phenomenon occurs on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, stirring different reactions among the inhabitants of a small Canadian village. Violet Leahy, president of the Catholic Women's League, declares the occur­rence a miracle and starts planning for another Lourdes; Father Phil hopes to use it to further his brand of social activism; the editor of the village weekly plots a journalistic coup; and Gretchen, who does the social column, manages to get her version of the event on to television between the "real news" and "Entertainment Tonight."

The only witness of the event—the shifting of a statue — is Bridget, who left the city to come and raise sheep, abandoning her planned legal career. Revelations about Bridget's past and her reluctance to accept a miracle provide the plot for Curran's entertaining two-act play.

Much of the appeal of Sacred Hearts lies in its humour: Gretchen doing her eye-witness interviews with her camera equipment on a child's wagon. Violet Leahy pestering the priest to bless spaghetti sauce jars full of water for the pilgrims she is expecting, the portentous announcement that the statue is now pointing toward Chernobyl. But Curran is also examining faith and skepticism in today's world, and we learn that there will be more miracles at the shrine.

Many young adults will find this play both amusing and thought provok­ing, and teachers of English will see interesting parallels with Murder in the Cathedral or A Man for All Seasons.

Pat Bolger, Renfrew, Ont.
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