The House of Moriah

Created by Carolyn Goodyear, The Pitch 2016

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Hidden by trees from prying eyes, Moriah houses a small operating theatre where individuals donate their organs for money on the black market. Single mum and widow Abby knows her eight year old son Zac, on dialysis, has a 1 in 650,000 chance of finding a suitable kidney donor. His 4 year old sister Izzy is a perfect match but is too young to be a living donor – the minimum age being 16 in Scotland. On seeing Abby’s pain and Zac’s declining health, Surgeon Theos alludes to a secret organ harvesting clinic which leads Abby to ‘Moriah’. Desperate to save her son, she makes the gut-wrenching decision to have one of her daughter’s kidneys illegally harvested. The journey to Moriah is turned into a fun game to shield Izzy from the truth and the scary people she may encounter. At Moriah, Abby sees her daughter disappear into the operating theatre when her mobile starts ringing. A nurse phoning from Zac’s hospital informs her that a donor has been found and he’s being prepped for surgery. Abby runs down the corridor screaming to stop Izzy’s operation. The theatre doors fly open revealing the surgeon’s scalpel poised just above Izzy’s tiny body.

Biblical Connection

In Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering. Just as Abraham is going to slay his son, an angel intervenes and stops him. In this modern adaption, the sacrificial altar is an operating table, where Abby offers Izzy’s body to the surgeon’s knife. Surgeons are often viewed as Godlike and Surgeon Theos represents God and the nurse represents the angel. During the 3 day journey, Isaac seemed unaware of his father’s intention to sacrifice him, which becomes clear when he asked “…where is the lamb for the burnt offering?“ Abraham’s reply shields Isaac from the dark truth as does Abby with Izzy by turning their trip into a fun adventure. Abraham was prepared to kill Isaac. Likewise, Abby is prepared to risk her daughter’s life. This famous bible story is modernised by incorporating the contemporary issues of organ donation and the illegal black market trade. To what lengths would a parent go, to save their child’s life? Would you break the law to save a loved one? Moriah aims to challenge and move its audience by posing such 21st century moral dilemmas.