More SummerWorks: Let’s Try This Standing, Divine, The Only Good Indian

by Lynn on August 6, 2017

in The Passionate Playgoer

Let’s Try this Standing

Written and performed by Gillian Clark
Directed by Anthony Black

Wow! Wow! Ditto!

In 2010, Gillian Clark was walking along the street, minding her own business, when she was hit by an SUV. The top half of her body went through a store window. The bottom half was pinned to the brick wall. When the paramedics came she asked “Am I going to live.” That says everything about Ms Clark. “Am I going to live.” Not “Am I going to die.”

She sits in a metal chair facing her audience, bare feet on the floor. Still. She smiles. She is charming, personable, bright, affable and very funny. Truly. Funny. She goes through the details of the accident and the horrific damage done to her body, and especially her right leg.

She talks about “Hands” the name she gave to the scar massage therapist. He works on her scars to soften them up so that her leg can work. She is even-tempered, nothing self-pitying about her. She talks about the psychological effects of the accident. She talks of her mother and boyfriend. She goes deep into the physical, mental and spiritual effects of how she coped and copes. There is a moment when she rails and tells us things we don’t want to know and should. Then she recovers. The last scene of her wonderful, moving, compelling show is astonishing. This is a show about a woman who is living to the fullest. Everybody needs to see this.

Highly recommended.


Written by Natalie Frijia
Directed by Claire Burns
Cast: Aviva Armour-Ostroff
Christina Bryson
Sarah Campbell
Amanda Cordner
Haley Garnett
Kathleen O’Reilly
Khadijah Salawu
Annie Yao

Playwright Natalie Friji was given a challenge to write a genre-based piece. She further challenged herself to write a high-stakes adventure, set as a kind of western with a strong female lead. The result is a play in which all the characters are strong women. It’s about Penn, a diviner, a person with one of those ‘magic’ sticks that finds water. Matters are desperate. There is a drought so bad that people will kill for water. Penn is desperate to find water. Bandits threaten her and her friends. There is a mysterious Preacher who knows a secret about Penn. Matters get worse. How will it end?

Natalie Frijia has written a wildly imaginative story that perhaps goes off too wildly in all directions, but at its core touches on issues that affect us all. It’s directed by Claire Burns with eye-popping creativity. The piece is impressive from the acting to the design to the costumes. You will leave thirsty.


The Only Good Indian

Co-Created by Jivesh Parasram, Tom Arthur Davis and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard.
Performed at my performance by Jivesh Parasram

One of the three co-creators presents the show each night. They work from a central script/lecture but then each performer will make the story his/her own. The show is a play on the word and perception of “Indian” among other things. And of course the title comes from a despicable idea.

Jivesh Parasram says people look at him and assume he is from India. That is incorrect. He is of Indian-Trinidadian descent. He gives a compelling lecture on the history of Trinidad and how his family and others were treated there. This is a show about ‘otherness’ as well, about not belonging. It’s about sugar, diabetes, drudge work, depression, coping, theatre and imagination.

Parasram is an imposing, unsettling presence. That’s a good thing in the theatre.


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