Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Joanne Tremarco.
Death, arguably, is not the end; it is a state of being that continues in the hearts of those left behind, long after the last breathe has been drawn. The poets and artists have always been one to draw the subject as a next adventure, perhaps in keeping with Buddhism, the soul moving on from one umbilical cord to the next, the next chapter in a long reading list. It could also be a one shot, possible prize winning article, done and dusted regardless of how many words and the finest of by-lines are used.
As part of the International Festival Of Physical Theatre running between the 26th May and the 3rd June, Joanne Tremarco’s Dying On My Feet could not have been more focused upon the notion of the way the call of the next realm has on our own beliefs and identities, the short poll of who is frightened of Death, who has dreamed they have died in the closed eye times and in a closed environment the conclusion, whilst not conclusive, showed the performer that our attitudes to the moment have changed remarkably to that even of our Victorian ancestors.
Built upon the performer’s relationship with her mother as she nursed her through the final stages of her own countdown of breathes, Ms. Tremarco gave the Physical Festival its huge due and gave the role the sense of the corporeal and pure that it always wonderfully craves. The weight of the performance being grounded in humanity, the grieving process and the knowledge that at some point the umbilical cord has eventually got to be let go, all being shown as natural, positive and whilst it is absolutely the worst feeling at the time and arguably for many years afterwards, death is not the enemy, it is not evil, it is just the end product of hopefully a beautiful and well lived life.
In what can be a very difficult subject to handle, Joanne Tremarco took the audience down a path that was both deeply personal and utterly remarkable, a sense of release in both her own story and for some inside the Liverpool Arts Centre, for Death, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, should have no Dominion, it should be shown no fear.
Ian D. Hall