One day, you meet someone: for a second, lasting as an eternity, your beliefs are no longer true and it might seem that your life changes. But does it, really?

Is someone’s darkness, a light for somebody else? Is someone’s light, a darkness for another? Is light really light? And is darkness really darkness? Is what we believe the only way? There could be another way? 

The Sunset Limited is a beautiful psychological show that explores the absolute and the relativism of beliefs. It starts with a few laughs but don’t be fooled: it is a crescendo of intensity that will leave you speechless and wondering if there is really any point in trying to ‘save’ someone else when beliefs become an integral part of ourselves.

The play focuses on White (Jasper Britton), a white, intelligent, atheist man, who thinks that life is simply futile and therefore there is nothing in this world for which is worth living. White is unexpectedly saved from the suicide in the New York Subway by an African-American man, Black (Gary Beadle).

Black is an ex-con now God-believer who then decides to save White’s soul by showing him the passion for what he believes in. Jesus, God, Love changed his life for good. You can see that in his eyes and hear it in his voice. It is powerful. But it is in vain.

White believes that there is no hope and that this world will devour ourselves. Black’s beliefs are disarmingly convincing because he fully lives his words. Cormac McCarthy, who wrote this play, which is directed by Terry Johnson, is stinging, direct, precise, merciless in his prose and his darkness is fascinating.

The Sunset Limited is an example of how two monologues can form a perfectly directed and executed play. Britton and Beadle are wonderful and their performance is spotless as well as intense. 

The show runs at the Boulevard Theatre in Soho and if you are into mind exploring and powerful insights of beliefs you will enjoy this show.


It runs until 29 January


Review: Giuseppe Barone     Photo: Marc Brenner