Theatre Review: Have You Met My Grief?

A warming and honest examination of grief

Presented by: Winter Warmers Festival
Reviewed: 25 August, 2023

Grief comes in many forms, from the upset of a child when their ice-cream falls in the dirt, to the devastation that can come from losing a loved one. In this extremely personal cabaret show adapted from her book of the same name, Jodie Atkinson shares with the audience the many facets of grief.

Atkinson is a compelling storyteller, sharing personal stories of career opportunities gone awry, relationships gone sour, and of losing a partner to cancer. She manages to add moments of levity to the narrative without detracting from the weight of the subject matter. Atkinson’s conversational style is warming and honest, and there were few dry eyes in the audience by the end of the show.

The show is interspersed with songs and excerpts from songs, including numbers by The Dead Kennedys, Adele, Coldplay, and Alanis Morissette, among others. Lyrically the songs hit the tone of the story well, though stylistically they were heavily skewed towards ballads. However, considering the subject matter, that’s not overly surprising. Atkinson’s vocals were very gentle, often tapering off at the ends of phrases, though there were moments where she showed more power vocally. Atkinson’s voice shows a great deal of potential, and with a little vocal training will only improve in her delivery. The songs were expertly accompanied by Lainie Jamieson on keys and backing vocals, both of which were balanced nicely against Atkinson’s vocals. Jamieson also often added underscore to the narrative, adding colour without ever overpowering or detracting.

For anyone who has experienced some kind of grief, or if you want to gain a better understanding of how to support someone through their grief, this is an excellent show to see and to acknowledge that though we may all experience grief in different ways, we are not alone.

Reviewed by: Kristin Stefanoff

Photo credit: supplied

Venue: The Warehouse Theatre
Season: 25-26 August 2023
Duration: 65min
Tickets: $15-$20

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