Grief is something that we must all experience at some point in our lives, but that fact alone does not in any way prepare us for it.

When a father loses his 6-year-old daughter to a long battle with Leukaemia, he isn’t prepared for the gaping emptiness that it leaves in his life. To cope, he runs, imagining in the moments his feet aren’t touching the ground that he’s soaring upwards to meet her. But he can’t outrun the past, or the memories that continue to catch up with him.

Max Keeble’s unquestionably and admirably physical performance takes place entirely on a treadmill. A specially fitted display keeps us in touch with how far into the past or present we are with “Plus one day” or “Minus 386 days”, whilst Keeble continues to run, walk or stop stock-still astride the running belt. He sweats, he pants, his physical exertion is visceral in a way that couldn’t be achieved by simply running on the spot. His perspiration hangs in the air. As he breathes deeply of the oxygen he needs to run, he remembers his daughter painfully struggling for breath with her own scarred lungs. It’s hard to tell if his running is a form of self-punishment, or a form of freedom as he pushes himself to the limits, through injury and self-doubt…

Read this review in full at The Play’s The Thing UK…


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