Programme Index

Discover 10,053,839 listings and 230,710 playable programmes from the BBC


The Fewness of His Words

Duration: 45 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 LW

Benedictine trouble-shooter Fr Richard Mercer is charged with tracking down fugitive fellow priest and child abuser Fr George Lawson who, in his 75th year, has jumped bail and sought sanctuary in an Italian monastery.

Mercer seeks Lawson out and despite the opposition of the Abbot who has for years provided sanctuary for Lawson, gradually begins to win the confidence of the renegade priest. But as he unravels the knot of denial in the heart of Lawson, the old man suddenly surprises him, forcing Mercer to confront the question of what it means to show true compassion.

Hugh Costello presents us with a dilemma worthy of Graham Greene by invoking Benedictine dictum that 'the wise man is known by the fewness of his words' and challenges the rightness of evasiveness when accused of a crime.

The Writer

Hugh Costello wrote the Emmy-nominated original screenplay for Bernard and Doris (HBO), starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes. He is currently writing three feature films, including period romance The Witch of Cologne, and a feature comedy, Colin Farrell Ruined My Life. His TV writing credits include The Ambassador (BBC1), On Home Ground (RTE) and Holby City (BBC1) as well as the short films The Rope Trick and Auto da Fe. He has written numerous plays for Radio 4, most recently 'Belarus' and 'What the Bishops Knew'. Show less


Fr George Lawson:
Andrew Sachs
Cardinal Vargas:
Gerard Murphy
Abbot Desiato:
Ian McElhinney




About this data

This data is drawn from the data stream that informs BBC's iPlayer and Sounds. The information shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was/is subject to change and may not be accurate. More