RACING DEMON

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Horizon begins the new year with Racing Demon, a riveting, provocative play of ideas by award-winning playwright David Hare. From inner city to inner circles of power, this searing drama explores the crisis of faith and loyalty in our institutions that is sweeping our culture. Directed by Co-Artistic Director Jeff Adler, this Southeastern Premiere opens January 10 and runs through February 23.

Racing Demon spotlights the crisis faced by a spiritually exhausted minister who comes under attack from a younger, idealistic colleague. Hare tells this slyly humorous and suspenseful story through four artfully interwoven problems: What will happen to a devoted clergyman (Rev. Lionel Espy) whose religious doubts and political opinions put his future at risk? How to handle a driven, new minister (Rev. Tony Ferris) whose passion to save souls may wreck lives in the process? What to do about a marriage (Heather Espy) wherein the pastoral duties displace the personal? And, finally, what will happen to one of Lionel's discreet, dedicated colleagues (Rev. Harry Henderson) whom a yellow journalist (Tommy Adair) threatens to ruin with exposure of a controversial secret? Hare makes every character in this vast array a human being, foolish and fallible, but believable and pardonable. Racing Demon raises provocative questions about faith and loyalty that reverberate everywhere in our lives.

Crumbling confidence in the Church serves only as a canvas on which Hare paints a vivid illustration of the conflict between human beings and the institutions that shape their lives. Racing Demon, a popular British card game where the quick and confident always beat the thoughtful and indecisive, serves as a telling metaphor for the quality of leadership that is valued in our culture. The insights Hare gives us about institutions in crisis are equally relevant to politics, the media and the corporate takeovers of the '90s. In this timely drama, as in many of his other plays, Hare examines people and institutions who "try to achieve control by pretending things are simpler than they are."