Reviews - Fringe 2009

Giving Into Light

By Tom Mackan
Published July 21, 2009

By Alison Wearing
Performed by Alison Wearing

Post-partum depression is one thing, and post-partum astonishment (read: delight, wonder, etc.) is quite another. Alison Wearing expounds with fine pace and skilful writing on the birth of her son. In a bit less than an hour she tells, sings, and dances her story, and it is a tale as captivating and absorbing as any you might hear.

We follow her from the boy's infancy and early months in the hot and toxic environment of a big city, to a frustrating encounter with cottage country where jet skis and gas fumes compete with the clean air. Her instinctive love of having brought a life into the world confronts a deep fear that she will not be able to protect him from the frantic and poisonous society around her.

She discovers Mexico, and simplicity. And she learns to celebrate her motherhood and to understand it. The moment in the performance when she reveals the Mexican peasants' explanation of giving birth crowns the whole hour.

Wearing is a gifted performer without a hint of artifice and the moments she relives for us are there again for us all. When she arrives at her place of peace and acceptance, we are there also.

A very unexpected delight, when expectations can be so vulnerable.


Tom Mackan is Publisher and editor of NEWZY BITZ, an online Community Theatre newsletter in the GHA, with over 200 subscribers. He is a Member of the Board, Theatre Burlington; an actor and director in GHA Community Theatre for fifty years; winner of over 25 awards and citations in the Western Ontario region and beyond; recipient of 2007 City of Hamilton Arts Award (Theatre); a Graduate of Canadian Theatre School (Sterndale Bennett) Toronto, 1955; and a retired teacher of English and Drama in public and private schools in the GHA and abroad.


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By Mel (registered) | Posted July 21, 2009 at 14:38:07

Thanks for the great review on this show. My only complaint is what took so long? Ctach this show while you can.

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By fringegoes (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2009 at 16:11:53

I second Mel's post - go see this show - it's fabulous!

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