Enquiry Concerning Hereafter 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 07, Aug 2023
A play about the final days of David Hume and Adam Smith, written by Duane Kelly and set in the Lecture Room at Panmure House, Adam Smith’s home for the final 12 years of his life, where he completed two of his major works, most notably The Wealth of Nations.
The play begins with David Hume on his deathbed, being visited by Charon, the boatman waiting to take Hume across the river to ‘the other side’. Hume is reluctant to depart this world, particularly as he has always questioned the existence of God and the possibility of an afterlife. He is reprieved when his best friend and fellow philosopher, Adam Smith, arrives for a visit. Against the backdrop of an angry mob outside, demanding that Hume repent his heretical ways, the two friends philosophise on subjects such as death and American independence, amongst other subjects, and discuss the notable characters they have met in their lives, including James Boswell, Allan Ramsay, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Hume finally departs, and we flip a few years into the future to the deathbed of Adam Smith. Charon returns to prepare for another voyage across the river, but will the two protagonists meet again after death?
We, the audience, sit around the room, eavesdropping on the conversations within, and it is amazing to realise that we are sitting in the actual room where Adam Smith would have enjoyed similar philosophical discussions almost 250 years earlier. The performances by Mark Colman as Hume, Dougal Lee as Smith and Ian Sexton as Charon are first class and, although the play lasts for almost 90 minutes, 15 minutes more than its advertised running time, it is a fascinating and informative piece of theatre, which I would highly recommend catching.
Reviewed by Howard
Panmure House – The Lecture Room
12.00, 16.00 (1hr 15)
Until 27th August (not 14th & 21st)