Proof by David Auburn

I have to say, I’ll be hard pressed to find a play more to my taste than this. Proof is as beautiful and perfect a play as the mathematical proof therein.

Proof makes big points about the nature of proof and truth (as slippery notions), the idea of nature versus nurture and the dubious extent of inheritance, and beautfiully illustrates the bitter-sweet taste of a family relationship, especially where there is illness and differing responsibilities: Proof manages to do all this in an intimate, plausible and heartbreaking way, almost hiding the drama that makes people like me nervous.

The tension created when our protagonist claims the proof as her own is palpable, and we can almost hear the internal dialogue of the love interest who wants both to be honest and to maintain his budding relationship, whilst being overwhelmed by the scope of the discovery.

Add in to the mix siblings with very different senses of duty and different approaches, alongside the uncertainty of fragile mental health, and you have a stunningly simple, speaks-to-the-heart play that stands up to being read. Now let’s see about watching the staging.

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