For several years after the death of her father, Hannah Moss found it hard to talk about him. Grief is difficult to discuss, and Moss discovered a way to do so in So it Goes – without speaking. Full of fabulously awkward dancing and immensely touching moments, this is a truly beautiful theatre show.
Moss connects with the audience on a deep, personal level from the moment she steps onto the stage, as she looks closely at them and smiles. It’s a self-conscious play as she talks about scenes she likes, and frequently breaks the fourth wall to speak to the audience. Joined by David Ralfe, they communicate through the use of whiteboards and hand drawn cardboard signs. The strong friendship between the two actors is apparent and they have a fantastic chemistry.
When background music and sounds aren’t being played, it’s an almost silent play. Yet so much is conveyed – as the audience waits for the next message to be written, it illustrates the isolation of grief and the inability to speak to or connect to others. It’s full of little touches and treasures – the humdrum things in life that only people who have lived together and loved each other would have noticed. Through the writing and the two actors’ strong stage presence, they create powerful moments that become relatable due to their simplicity.
The use of humour even in the saddest and darkest moments makes the play endearing and avoids melodramatic sadness. For example, in the supermarket scene the mother is shopping and is constantly reminded of her loss. Yet it’s a funny scene as she’s surrounded by items labelled “lonely salad” and “lonely salad dressing”. The juxtaposition between comedy and sorrow emphasises them both, making each moment and surprise all the more powerful.
So It Goes is playful as the actors have fun communicating through unique ways to show the character’s thoughts, setting scenes and creating transitions. It’s admirably creative and funny with excellent coordination and choreography.
So It Goes is a beautiful gift to the audience as Moss builds her memories on stage. It speaks more loudly and profoundly than any thundering monologues could.