You might think that the story of a young woman coming to terms with her father’s death doesn’t sound like a great night out. But having had the privilege this evening of watching the stunning So it Goes, I’d have to disagree.
So it Goes, by On The Run, is the true story of Hannah Moss and her Dad, Mike. He died of cancer when she was 17, and for years, Hannah couldn’t bring herself to talk about him, no matter how much she wanted to. And so, along with her friend David Ralfe, she’s created this beautiful, moving tribute to her Dad, which speaks volumes, without saying a word.
In the show, Hannah and David take us on a journey, sharing her most intimate memories of life with her Dad – some happy, some desperately sad. Never has the expression ‘emotional rollercoaster’ been more apt. One minute we’re laughing at Mike’s embarrassing dancing and his love of running everywhere, even to his own wedding; the next we’re at the hospital, in that terrible moment of realisation that there was nothing to be done. Or witnessing the conversation in which 13-year-old Hannah first learned her Dad was ill.
These are incredibly personal memories, and although it’s obvious that performing them is a kind of therapy for Hannah, it takes a huge amount of courage to share so much with total strangers. The show feels like a soul laid completely bare, and I left feeling privileged and just a little uncomfortable to have been given such unrestricted access to the worst moments in the life of someone I’d never met.
And yet So It Goes is also really uplifting, an appreciation of the good times the family shared together, and an attempt to ensure they’re not overshadowed by the tragedy that followed. And it’s a lovely thing to see the strong friendship between the two performers; it’s clear that David’s help and support have gone far beyond agreeing to don a few outrageous outfits to play Hannah’s parents in the show.
Hannah makes it clear from the start that she’s not going to speak, because it’s easier that way. Instead, the production makes use of whiteboards, props, movement and expression in a way that’s so clever and inventive, spoken words soon become unnecessary. Each scene is almost like looking at a drawing or cartoon, and has a playful, childlike and highly visual feel that makes its point with no need for words.
So It Goes is amazing: a show about love, loss, grief and acceptance that simultaneously warms and breaks your heart. It made me grateful for the life of a man I’ve never met, and for the courage of his daughter in sharing it. But more than that, it reminded me to appreciate my own loved ones, the memories we’ve already created together, and those still to come.
Review by Liz Dyer
So It Goes: Written and performed by Hannah Moss and David Ralfe.
So It Goes is a true story about love and loss.
Hannah has always wanted to talk about her dad. But in the seven years since he died, she hasn’t quite managed it. Not one to be defeated, she’s enlisted her friend David to help her on a journey through memory, laughter and sorrow. Frank, funny and endlessly inventive, So It Goes explores the light and dark sides of grief, in a playful and deeply personal show.
Friday 10th April 2015