Everything Else Happened

Based on the Short Stories of Jonathan Safran Foer

Assembly Roxy

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

Jonathan Safran Foer is a very popular, quirky novelist whose writings have also generated a couple of offbeat movies, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

David Kantounas and Adam Lenson have adapted four short stories based on the author’s eccentric family for the stage, a couple of which are real crackers.

The superb Patti Love starts the hour well as Rhoda, a typical octogenarian American Jewish grandmother fearing for her lovely grandchildren in this scary secular world. As long as you can live with her suspicion of schwarzes, the old lady is lovely.

Simon Scardifield enjoys a strange dialogue with his deceased wife, heard on a tape recording of long ago. He also appears to be using this as a means to create a novel.

Harry Ditson plays an ageing children’s magician, mixing illusion with experience to say something possibly worthwhile about life through the tears of a clown.

Finally, Adam Lenson becomes a Woody Allen-like Jonathan Safran Foer for a very witty ten-minute lecture about familial heart disease and silences, with deep underlying philosophical meanings that will almost certainly chime with everyone in attendance, even those that are non-Jewish.