Heartfelt play highlights Quaker courage
Still Small Voice, The Friends’ Meeting House, Bury St Edmunds, Friday June 8
IT’S 1952 and a lone ageing woman shuffles into the crumbling shell of the Quaker Meeting House, in Bury St Edmunds.
Scanning the room with her white cane, the partially sighted patron checks a collection of buckets brimming with water from the building’s weeping roof.
She is Margaret Kemp, a stalwart to her faith and the focus of this deeply moving, heartfelt and inspiring tale of belief, resilience and the human condition.
Short on members and funds, The Meeting House is to be demolished to make way for housing.
Fuelled by outrage and convinced the building will be needed for future generations, Ms Kemp stages a virtual sit in – she will not be moved with poignant results.
Scenes glide from the dramatic to serene in a delicately woven new production packed with historical curios about St John’s Street and the Quakers.
Playwright Danusia Iwaszko was inspired to write this after being captivated by a story of the leading lady huddling beneath her umbrella to shelter from the leaky building’s tears.
It is that scene which endures and the production is all the more touching for being staged in the very Meeting House which Margaret fought to save -– a fitting testament to her dignified courage and self sacrifice. PD
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Weather for Bury St Edmunds
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west