Grandpa Sol and Lily’s Grandma Rosie

by Ottawa Fringe

June 22, 2009

In this fine and gentle one-woman comedy by Australia’s Lana Schwarcz, a young nurse named Jackie lands a job at an old age home. Problem is, she fears old age and its inevitable conclusion. The play tracks the foot-in-mouth but generous-hearted Jackie as she learns to see beyond the aging skin of the residents, played by life-sized puppets. In her show, Schwarcz blends fiction with verbatim theatre in which recordings – in this case, from an old age home – are played back to her through headphones and which she then repeats verbatim as she manipulates the puppets. The goal is to create consistent, true-to-life characters uninfluenced by the actor’s own inflections. Impossible to know how different the characters would have without verbatim theatre, but the people Schwarcz does give us are as rich as the play’s treatment of aging is truthful. At Alumni Auditorium until June 28.

Patrick Langston