I have a real soft spot for Jonathan Safran Foer. I send him big karma inducing hearts from across the Atlantic and hope that he and his family feel the benefits of them. I first came across his work through his non-fiction book EatingAnimals.
As Foer searched the American meat industry for the truth behind his nagging personal hypothesis that Eating Animals is wrong, I willed him on. I felt his pain at witnessing scenes in abattoirs, smelt the horror that is an industrial hog farm and through Foer, I witnessed the inhumane treatment of farmed animals in all its bleak starkness. God that book hit the spot, (go on, read it; I dare you...)
So, I was somewhat joyful to see that Everything Else Happened, a show based on the writings of Foer, is being staged as part of the Edinburgh Festival by DreamEpic. I went along to one of the first shows, and boy, is it beautiful.
Four actors deliver four separate monologues, which are believable, mixing painful truths with wry laughter.
The Grandma who offers you cookies, fresh sliced tomatoes, fizzy pop; anything to make you happy. The middle aged man suffering the pain of mental health problems, which have led him to a dark place of broken hearts and loss. The old, overlooked and looked-through magician.
And for me, the most touching of all, Foer himself (played by Actor/Director Adam Lenson), talking about the in-between conversations, the ones we hint towards but never say, the missed opportunities of communication to reach out to our families. The seemingly unstoppable handing on of issues, of sadness, of pain. And the difficulty of saying “I love you” in return.
Big hearts Jonathan, big hearts.