Did you know there are actually five north poles? – FIVE! Rory’s Dad was a geography teacher. Rory’s Dad loved explorers. Rory’s Dad always wanted to go to the North Pole. Rory’s Dad has just died in a car crash.
Written by Tatty Hennessy, A Hundred Words for Snow is a touching one-woman show about grief and growing up. We see the attempt of Rory (Gemma Barnett) to take her Dad’s ashes to the North Pole, to fulfil his big dream that he never managed to do alive. She steals away one night, taking her mother’s card and hops on a plane to Svalbard. We watch her meet a group of “cool” Norwegians, lose her virginity and get involved in a painter’s trip to the coast in an attempt to show her Dad some bears. She feels bad for not focusing solely on her end goal, the North Pole, but it is these moments of diversion that create the interest and the moments of emotional reflection.
The spirit of adventure reflects the experience of growing up as we see the twists and turns along the way that make Rory’s trip what it is. This is both a piece about dealing with death, as well as about the experience of getting to know yourself.
Barnett’s performance is touching and energetic. Capturing perfectly the teenage girl’s confused mind, we see a girl who is excited about life, but also tentative. Rory wants to experience things, and she makes rash decisions. In her reflections, we see her moments of maturing- regretting leaving her mother alone, or regretting not wearing proper shoes!
Perfect for its setting in The Vaults, the cave-like venue with eerie rumbles overhead compliments the confusion and disorientation of Rory’s journey. A Hundred words for Snow leaves you inspired to embrace the adventure that is life, take the bad with the good and go with the flow… (but not too much!)
A Hundred Words for Snow played at The Vaults until 11 March
Photo: The Vaults