SO IT GOES
by Hannah Moss and David Ralfe.
On The Run Theatre tour to 5 June 2015.
Runs 1hr 5min No interval.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 23 April at The North Wall Oxford.
This one should run and run.
Good grief – grieving, though painful, must be beneficial. Imagine death and life without it. It asserts the value of individuals and their remembered lives, as well as the importance of relationships. It has been much studied, and on stage there can be little new to say. On the Run’s production says nothing new, except in being specific. In a literal sense, it says very little at all.
Hannah Moss writes that her dad died when she was 17. It was a shock to her, and in this two-hander it’s a shock to us, to discover what was happening to him. Middle-aged but fit as could be, he ran everywhere and in scenes showing this there’s only one momentary hint all may not be well. Early scenes are extremely active, at Hannah enjoys running alongside dad, as well as dancing – Hannah Moss is a skilled mover, her body co-ordinated and movements economic and precise. All is joy, with David Ralfe filling-in as Mum, Dad or whoever.
It’s even easy to forget neither is speaking, and that Hannah has told us this is easier for her. Another skill these two possess is writing upside-down (very neatly, too). This is their means of communication, between characters, but particularly in explaining to the audience such basics as where and when scenes are happening, and how Hannah, especially is feeling.
Writing on little whiteboards, before rubbing-out words with almost the speed at which thoughts or speech fly, signals the intense feeling which makes speech difficult, but it also creates optimism. Hannah still wants to communicate, and she remembers happy moments. Eventually it’s evident she is ready to return fully to her life.
Which was always on the cards, with Hannah’s intelligence in understanding that inexplicable things happen, seen in her strong, varied facial expressions, with their degrees of smiles or sadness, and in a lithe energy that connects with the audience.
Things must have got better for this evidently autobiographical tour to exist. And, as audience-members read each phrase and wait expectantly for the next, the show adds a new angle to the actor-audience dynamic.
Performers: Hannah Moss, David Ralfe.
Designers: Emma Tompkins.
Lighting: Celia Dugua, Edmund Sutton.