Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press in exchange for an honest review.

Grieving siblings Natalie, a palliative care nurse, and Bart, a minister, contemplate life and death after the death of their mom. When a storm hits, a disabled angel visits them and takes the siblings and the audience along to talk about death and understand the hopes, fears, and expectations around it.

How It Ends was such an amazing play to read! I almost didn’t request it because of the subject matter. Even though I enjoy media that gets existential and talks about death (Hello Mike Flanagan!), consuming too much of it sometimes makes me too existential and bogs me down. But in the love of theatre and normalizing conversations about grief, I knew I had to request this title and I’m so glad I did.

I loved the banter about death between Natalie and Bart that started the play, as well as the humour of the Angel. I also loved that the Angel was disabled and think it can bring about good discussion about why the Angel is disabled and how that can challenge disability narrative and the afterlife, as well as providing roles for disabled actors.

This is the first time I’ve read a play that included stage directions for audience participation, and it was so interesting from a formatting perspective. I’d never considered the work and direction needed for the actors during audience participation. Obviously, there’s a lot of dependence on improv, but I liked seeing how Patterson gave options and ideas for the actors to pursue if the audience didn’t react a way that was planned.

Existential and fun, How It Ends forces readers to confront their own fears around death and become comfortable in these fears. Fans of The Haunting of Bly Manor will love this, but get ready to get existential and a little messed up thinking too much about death!

61913306Publication: April 25 2023
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Pages: 72 pages (Paperback)
Source: Playwrights Canada Press (Thank you!)
Genre: Fiction, Play
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤

Most of us, when faced with death, wish we could just have a little more time. But what if this is the little more time that we wished for? What are you going to do with it? Grieving siblings Natalie and Bart have differing views on how we die. Natalie, a palliative care nurse, knows how drugs can help ease someone’s pain, and do so on their own terms; Bart, a minister, believes that surrendering to what may come can bring peace and wisdom. Through this immersive show about end-of-life choices, Natalie and Bart are guided by a disabled angel who helps them address their mother’s final decision and understand their own hopes and fears about death. Packed with relatable existential questions, this joyously engaging and reflective play offers a welcoming space to think about what comes next.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s