People who have experienced the passing of a loved one should overwhelmingly relate to this stage play, which resonates the importance of family and forgiveness.
Love, happiness, sadness, loss, and grief are emotions which are experienced by all families. Death brings families together and with that togetherness, memories from the distant past come flooding back – good memories and bad. Tension can inadvertently transform grief into emotional bitterness which is the basis of this play written by award-winning playwright Mary Rachel Brown.
Maria (Angela Bauer), Anne (Di Adams) and Peter (Richard Sydenham) are siblings approaching midlife and their father who has been suffering from cancer for four years has chosen to die in his own home with dignity. Josh (Alex Beauman) is the loving grandson.
Questions arise about their father’s persona, a gambler and philanderer, who suffered from depression and apparently wanted a family to shield himself from the world. Should saying goodbye be a hard thing to do and should people be forgiven for their wrongdoings prior to their passing? Also, does forgiveness take a lot out of you?
Death is depressing, but this play isn’t. Delightfully argumentative, the awkward and humorously irrelevant conversations which unpredictably develop amongst these grieving souls provides much laughter, evenly dispersing the emotionally dramatic and light-hearted moments.
A talented ensemble cast of four deliver commanding performances and may reduce the more sensitive viewers to tears in the final moments.
Ultimately, audiences will come to realise that love filters through as these siblings bury their father and move on. ‘Life is remarkable – death is unremarkable’, Peter states as he delivers his eulogy at his father’s funeral – a statement which pretty much sums up this play. (MMo)
Until Dec 22. Old 505 Theatre, 5 Eliza St Newtown. $30-$40+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.apocalypsetheatrecompany.com