It would be tempting to think that British and US television companies no longer produce plays. However, while that is largely true – and certainly, by the 1980s, most play strands on television became film strands such as Screen One and Film on 4 before disappearing altogether – there is occasionally room in the schedules for a one-off play. A case in point is God On Trial, a BBC/WGBH Boston co-production by Frank Cottrell Boyce and starring Antony Sher, Rupert Graves, Jack Shepherd, Dominic Cooper, Eddie Marsan, Stellan Skarsgård, Lorcan Cranitch and Stephen Dillane, among others. Set during the Holocaust, it sees a group of Auschwitz prisoners put God on trial for allegedly breaking His covenant with the Jewish people by allowing the Nazis to commit genocide.
Twenty years in the making, the play isn’t easy going but it’s powerful with a great cast, so something of a must-see. Let’s hope television continues to be able to find room in its schedules – and the budget – to be able to continue making its like. As always, if you like it, buy it so that producers do have the budgets!