Friday, October 23, 2015

'Broth' by Donna Rutherford

23 October 2015

Oliver Sacks' grandfather, who died at the age of 94, often said that his 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt “not a shrinking but an enlargement of life and perspective” (see: For Donna Rutherford's show 'Broth', which I saw at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow on Thursday evening as part of the Luminate Festival, Donna video-recorded a series of interviews with men and women in their 80s. She started each interview by simply asking people to tell her how their mothers or fathers used to make soup. Edited excerpts from these interviews provided the main content of the show, interspersed with music by Inge Thomson and Donna's own reflections on ageing, memories and making soup. And throughout the show Donna is making three pans of soup on the stage in front of us – a traditional vegetable broth, lentil soup and fish soup. As the ingredients begin to bubble the smells drift around the theatre evoking our own memories – and hunger! Donna's text has the beauty of a prose poem, but her delivery is so gentle and conversational it disguises the craft that has gone into the words. At the end of the show the audience is invited to taste the soup: we didn't need to be asked twice. Donna said that the audience in Edinburgh had been shy and needed coaxing out of their seats. When she performed the show in Paisley to more than 200 older people they were rather put out that they only got about a thimble-full each. The time we take to consume our soup provides the opportunity for a post-show discussion in which members of the audience comment on the video interviews and share their own reminiscences of family and soup. It's a very clever way to tackle a wide range of aspects of ageing – and the broth was delicious.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home