Friday, September 4, 2015

Soul - a Fringe Festival Review 2015

I'm not a mom but I work with adults who have developmental disabilities so I can completely empathize with the kind of stresses and sadness and joy that Maxine shares in her Soul performance.  I love the people I work with, and I get a chance to miss them on my days off.  Parents raising special needs people don't get a break from it, a chance to put it all in perspective, to take some time for themselves and recharge their batteries.  Maxine has created her own space with this show, and within that space she tells a story of struggle and survival.

Ironically, it's a story from a former American (I presume, from what she said about her mom being in Miami) who butts heads with the Canadian health care system.  Maxine tells us about doctors who offer valium as a coping mechanism, an existentialist chiropractor (nice for philosophizing, perhaps, but not very practical), and various health care providers she didn't hire, or soon let go. 
Maxine incorporates song, including some of her own, and images of her children.  We feels as if we're treasured friends, sitting over coffee or a beer, listening to her plight, sharing her burden, holding her hand. 

This is a story about unconditional love, survival, and the need for all of us to examine the ways our tax dollars are being used - and misused - in what's often touted as one of the best health care systems in the world.  It begs the question ... what happens to mothers with disabled children who can't afford to hire the help they need?

See Soul at Venue 1 - the Victoria Event Centre - Saturday the 5th at 8:30 pm or Sunday the 6th at 2:45 pm