by tom mccrory
shaky isles theatre
part of southern lights ~ a season of rehearsed play readings from aotearoa - new zealand
directed by stella duffy
marlene sidaway ~ ruth mooney, mother of james
kane blixley ~ james mooney, partner of sara hurrel
angela bull ~ sara hurrel, partner of james
thomas craig - chris farrel, best friend of james
emma deakin ~ jackie farrel, wife of chris and childhood friend of james
terence bailer ~ bill, old friend of ruth's
vinicius salles ~ anotonio, immigarnt from argentina & co-worker of sara
"enduring parting is an act of faith, only the invisible survives it."
at 15 years old ruth arrives in wellington a refugee from the holocaust, the only survivior in her family.
now 72, ruth guides us on a journey of faith, exploring what survives across the generations.
this was unfeasibly well performed for a show that has had precious little time for rehearsal and that often transcended the constraints of a reading to give us moments of great potency and beauty.
the joy of this show for me came from a coupling of the writing's lyrical flow with an easy warmth and naturalness of the player's performances, punctuated with moments of intense recognition that came from a number of moments of perfectly phrased and focused moments:
+ ... she wouldn't raise you as a jew "because she couldn't trust that it wouldn't happen again ..."
+ ... "when i had my little boy there was another person like me in the world again ..."
+ ... "i looked at my baby son and he smiled and it was my smile. and i thought about my father and wondered where do we get our smiles from? ..."
i also loved that the dead ruth who talked to us was so much more tranquil and warm than i suspect the woman we heard about who had had to be so much more a survivor and a fighter.
(tom mcrcory is also producer for the international tour of "vula")