After You

After You Adelaide Fringe 2019Adelaide Fringe. Hannah Norris. 9 Mar 2019

 

Real life stories? Real life people on stage? See the real thing! Autobiography as theatre.

Two women. Mother and daughter. Actors both, generations apart in experience, training or lack of. Exploring where they’ve been in their relationship to each other, to themselves, to their artistic identity across their lives.

 

The lovely daughter Hannah Norris in red cheerfully greets the audience as they take seats, while also red attired regal mother Angela (née Kendall) reposes on a lounge of cushions, surrounded by baskets and a few snacks on the stage. What follows is illuminating.

 

After You is autobiography as a theatrical creation, experience and reflection. Not as uncritical hagiographic memoir, but carefully crafted, challenging script, offering melded dual reminisce of daughter and mother lives. It’s a rare and profoundly powerful experience.

 

Hannah and Angela remember and relive their past and present via anecdote and parallel life history. From Angela’s starting role in the 1960s Melbourne production of The Sound of Music to the earliest memories that made Hannah the respected global artist she is now.

There is pain, there is anger, there are many, many regrets. Many similarities. Yet these women offer their lives unflinchingly as a gift to others that they might learn and profit from it.

 

The import of the show title grows ever slowly on you. After You… the women who follow and will follow such greatness of example.

 

David O’Brien

5 stars

 

When: 8 to 17 March

Where: Live at Tandanya, 3rd Space

Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au

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