Wil Greenway: For the Ground that Grew Me
An amusing and warm-hearted piece with live musicians from Australian storyteller Wil Greenway
This article is from 2015.
Written and performed by Australian storyteller Wil Greenway, For the Ground that Grew Me is a collection of interwoven stories from several generations of his family's history. Greenway exudes an affable charm and whirls through the finely drawn details of his yarn with ease and fluency.
At his best, Greenway’s stories mingle intrigue and tension to powerful effect: most notably, a seat-gripping account of his father attempting to cut shards of glass that had buried themselves into Wil's foot, from a wound that he says ‘had begun to resemble a politician’s smile’.
As the show progresses, For the Ground that Grew Me becomes as much about Greenway’s own attempts to negotiate a life of heartbreak, impermanence, and nauseous experiences on city buses as it does about his remarkable and mysterious ancestors. Greenway’s underdog charm and often remarkable material pays particular comic dividends in the hands of the fluent storyteller.
The experience of the show is only slightly hampered by a loose and patchy structure that makes For the Ground that Grew Me feel more like a receptacle for Greenway’s evocative language and infectious optimism. Still, with the dulcet accompaniment of live musicians, this is a kind-hearted and amusing show brimming with arresting verbal imagery and earthy home truths.
Underbelly Med Quad, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug, 4.20pm, £10 (£9).