Review: Going On (with Elizabeth Richardson, at Studio 1398 until September 20)

Buy tickets: http://tickets.vancouverfringe.com/shows/going%20on/events

I love theatre wherever I see it. I love seeing elementary-school kids and high-school students, community theatre productions, old plays, new plays, all of it. But, I have to admit, when I see theatre in London I certainly enjoy the polished talent and perfect productions at places like Royal National Theatre and Donmar Warehouse. So it is really a treat to see Elizabeth Richardson, a Canadian actor with London training and experience who matches precisely what I expect from a London stage actor, performing at Studio 1398 on Granville Island. We are lucky!

Transcendence

(photo credit Kat Wahamaa)

Richardson is telling a story about her life that she is very keen to tell. She draws from her early acting experiences and from recent heartwrenching personal and family dramas that are all too real.

With a Fringe show, Richardson has the power to create her own world, her own script, and choose her own director,a privilege often denied to women in theatre and performing arts, particularly women over a certain age.

I wondered about Richardson’s decision to enter a Buddhist retreat for a lengthy stay, where the general theme was monasticism. Richardson does not beat us over the head with an explanation, but conversationally explains her choices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(photo credit Kat Wahamaa)

Richardson manages the chronology nicely, moving back and forth between her young-adult self and her current self, between her mother, herself, and other characters. Richardson is a good impersonator–go and see for yourself!

I found Richardson’s story compelling, and could hardly believe the showtime had elapsed when the lights came up. If you have ever had a life crisis, dealt with an ailing parent, wondered what to do with your life, or wanted to get away from it all, you will find this work very relatable.

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