Can we love someone whose belief system we fundamentally disagree with? If we love someone, can we denounce what we believe just to please them? Family and faith compete in thoughtful three-hander The Busy World Is Hushed, showing both sides of a tormented mother-son relationship.
At a seminary in New York, Hannah (Kazia Pelka), a widowed Episcopalian minister and Bible scholar, finds her faith at odds with that of her long-estranged only son, Thomas (Michael James). When Brandt (Mateo Oxley), who Hannah has hired to work with her on book a newly discovered manuscript that appears to be a lost gospel, develops a rapport with Thomas, she encourages it in hopes of reconciliation. Can God or love for another provide solace for the griefs, losses and loneliness that each faces? Can either help us make sense of the world?
The play takes its title from a prayer based on Psalm 6:
Support us, O Lord,
all the day long of this troublesome life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,
a holy rest, and peace at the last;
through Christ our Lord.
The Busy World Is Hushed, which premiered at New York’s Playwrights’ Horizon in 2006, marks the UK debut for American playwright Keith Bunin, who was able to visit London last month to see this European premiere production, directed by Paul Higgins. Last night, the cast talked about their experiences with the playwright and the play – including their own thoughts on faith, loyalty and conditional love, as well as the secrets of glue-gel and prop books!
Watch the Facebook Livestream below for full details – including a sneaky little £10 ticket offer if you act fast.
The Busy World Is Hushed continues at the Finborough Theatre until 25 November 2017.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) November 2, 2017
Event photography by Anthony Kelly.