Drawing: Hayley Atwell in The Faith Machine

Hayley Atwell

English actress Hayley Atwell made her West End debut as Catherine in A View From The Bridge at the Duke of York’s in 2009, earning an Olivier award nomination. In September 2011 she appeared in the world premiere of Alexia Kaye Campbell’s third play The Faith Machine on the Jerwood stage at the Royal Court Theatre. Directed by Jamie Lloyd. it’s based on the premise that making choices has consequences. The Standard’s Henry Hutchings used the phrase ‘karmic boomerang’ as an appealing way to convey the notion that one’s choices have inevitable repercussions and must reconcile the seductions of different belief and value systems. Having faith might seem reasonable when you are conscious of it’s unreasonable nature. In this play, Hayley played Sophie, an inspirational journalist who suddenly hurls her bewildered lover, Tom (Kyle Soller) a choice, right at the beginning: either he quits being an advertising exec for a corrupt pharmaceutical multinational or she’s leaving. The choice he makes and the events of that day changes their lives forever. Quentin Letts in The Daily Mail called it a “breakthrough in the religion versus atheism battle. In fact it’s almost enough to make one say ‘Hallelujah’.”

I haven’t had much luck with sketches  being returned from  the Royal Court and Sloane Square is on the outer fringes of my graph-hunting territory. As one of the lines in the play noted,”The real world is cruel and harsh and full of compromise.” A little overstated for my situation, but compromise I did. I put my faith in Hayley’s London agents and left it with them-a choice that had excellent consequences.

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