Your dad (or your mum, your husband, your wife, your best friend…) has just passed away. Tweet about your sadness and loss in 140 characters. Impossible? Not for Hannah Moss and David Ralfe, co-creators of play So It Goes. Utilising a minimalist hand drawn approach to props, a nostalgic 1950s feel to the sets established enough information to bring the audience into scenes in which a very personal story was revealed - at a steady pace, with a little humour, and in complete silence.
Hannah learned of her father’s death eight years ago, when she was 17. Unable to speak about her loss, she devised a way to convey the sequence of events by writing a few words on an A4 sized whiteboard. She writes quickly, and neatly. As does David, who played Hannah’s dad, and mum. Together they wrote, erased, wrote, erased… dialogue that flowed gently into the consciousness and kept the story moving.
Hanna loved her dad. They enjoyed many happy times together, running up and down hills, playing, going on picnics. After he died she became depressed and spent many hours, indeed months, in front of the television. She writes “I wish I could disappear into the TV”. The combination of writing and the actors’ physicality on stage sensitively explored Hannah’s memories of her father’s life, his illness and his death.
As Hannah says herself in what she tells us is her favourite scene, the one where she’s at the hospital at her father’s bedside, she is fortunate to be able to say goodbye to her father frequently. And, finally, she starts to speak about him with her mother, in words.