How to Live Forever is my only show for yesterday. This show came recommended by the front of house manager at Modern Electric Lunch. A former employee has one of the roles in the show.
The show has the most interesting venue at the Fringe. It is held outdoors at Stephen Juba Park, off of Waterfront Drive. A couple of things to note. while there a variety of lawn chairs, you might want to bring one of your own. Second, go to the bathroom before you come, there aren’t any available nearby.
How To Live Forever, or Not
How to Live Forever deals with death, loss, and grief. So, on one level it deals with rather heavy topics, and you may need to be in the right head space to go see it. The link will give you more specifics. However, while the show deals with heavy topics, it does so with a light, and at time, very humourous hand.
The setting is simple. Five friends sit around a campfire. One of them is facing the imminent death of her grandma. As the campfire conversation unfolds, each person tells their own stories of dealing with death.
These stories are awkward, painful, angry, and funny. All the things that death and dying are. All the things we think we shouldn’t be talking about when we talk about death. These are things, that as a priest, I come up against regularly. Death is messy and our reactions to it are unpredictable.
Sitting with grief rather than looking for answers
One of the best things about this show, is that ii doesn’t try and provide answers. Instead, it helps to validate the feelings that people have as they are dealing with grief. It provides a great service in doing this. I think this show should tour school, particularly high schools.
The youth of the cast helps make this show work. There is a good combination of experience and youthful ignorance on dsiplay. Admitting our ignorance on the such is a good way to start and carry on discussions.
The cast is very strong. You really get the sense of observing a group of real friends. This feeling is aided by a fantastic script. Daphne Finlayson, the writer, really captures the chaos that surrounds death and dying. I looked up her website, and notice she has trained in stage intimacy, and that too shows up in the interaction of the characters.
Having seen both How To Live Forever and Let’s Talk About Your Death, make How To Live Forever your viewing priority. Both are entertaining, but How to Live Forever offers more real talk on the subject.