Beverley Elliott’s Sink or Swim, produced by HappyGoodThings Productions, was a glimpse into the life of a child in rural Ontario that made me reminiscent of a time I never experienced. And it did it perfectly.
Beverley, the show’s actor, writer, and song-writer perfectly portrayed what if feels like to be 5, and the youngest daughter of a family thrust from an idyllic farm to a small home on the highway. Beverley recounts, through song and storytelling, her transition from life at home to the small, 35-person classroom she spent first grade in.
Elliott effortlessly breathed life into the characters in this classroom, from the troublesome 13 year olds who sat in the back, to the 5 year old who sat in front of her and who she considered the love of her young life. These characters felt real, despite them not being visible on stage or having any lines.
The show featured several original songs throughout, which Beverley sang, delightfully accompanied by Pianist Bill Costin. Some were more entertaining than others. One that stood out from the rest was “What a Mother Does” which brought tears to my eyes, and it seemed many other members of the audience as well.
There are many other moments I could recount in great detail and explain why I loved them, but the best part of this show was going in not knowing what to expect. The highs and lows were unexpected and evoked real emotion in the older members of the audience who seemed to be reliving their own childhoods as Beverley re-lived hers. It was lovely, and perfectly acted and sung by Beverley. Do yourself a favour and spend an hour and a bit in a simpler time, one filled with music, laughter, and the politics of riding a school bus.
Dates: November 21-25, 2017
Times: 8pm nightly
Matinees: Saturday 25 @ 2pm / Tuesday, Nov. 21 @ 1pm
Ticket information here.