GRIEF: A ONE MAN SHITSHOW at The Broadwater – Hollywood Fringe Festival

Photo by Rebecca Asher

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

“There are no words . . .”

This phrase is among the platitudes that writer-performer Colin Campbell excoriates in his solo performance about people straining to offer comfort in the aftermath of his losing his two teenage children in a car crash, on the other end of a drunk driver with already one DUI conviction who T-boned Campbell’s car. (Campbell was driving, and his wife, a fellow passenger, also survived.) There are in fact plenty of words, and Campbell has them at his disposal in his Spartan performance, directed by Michael Schlitt. “They’re in a better place,” is another. No, they’re not, he points out. They’re in a wooden box six feet underground.

There is nothing maudlin in Campbell’s colloquial, animated approach to what might be called an unimaginable horror, except that Campbell imagines it in detail, working through a multitude of aspects that accompany such heartbreak. Is losing a family so instantaneously better or worse than losing them slowly to cancer? Is it better to be present, to watch them die, as he did, or to learn about it through a phone call?
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Now through June 25