I really like the Finborough Theatre, one of those cute little pub theatres that there are so many of in London. When I heard that they are hosting a run of The Busy World Is Hushed, my interest was piqued!
The play is entirely set in the work space of Hannah, a minister and Bible scholar who is working on a book about recently discovered manuscripts that she believes to be part of the gospels and is likely to predate the gospels of the Bible itself. The widowed mother, played by Kazia Pelka, hires a young assistant to help her write the book. Brandt, played by Matteo Oxley, is not just meant to assist her in writing about the long lost gospel, but Hannah also hopes he might help her reconnect with her rebellious son Thomas, who is wonderfully portrayed by Michael James.
Thomas, a gay man disillusioned with religion, family and the world at large, instantly connects with Brandt and the two reluctantly start a romance, which starts a chain reaction of tumultuous fights and reconciliations.
All three actors embody their characters with heart and passion, very convincingly drawing up these three people as rounded, believable characters. Hannah, Brandt and Thomas try to connect to one another, urging each other to consider different views and have open minded conversations. This play is a beautiful study in interconnectedness, understanding, honesty, grief and love.
I definitely recommend catching this play while you can, it is intense and beautiful and viscerally gripping. Believers, agnostics and atheists alike will learn from this wonderful staging. Full six out of six rainbow sloths!