It is rare that you get a play that is moving and humorous at the same time, but this stage version of Mitch Albom’s highly acclaimed book Tuesdays with Morrie manages this balancing act.
It is set around Mitch, a big shot sports journalist who, in his pursuit of wealth, has forgotten what is important in life. He has also forgotten Morrie, his old college professor and mentor, until he sees him on the television talking about his battle with a debilitating disease. He remembers a broken promise he made to Morrie that he would stay in touch after graduation. So, after sixteen years he decides to pay him a visit.
It was only supposed to be one visit but what emerges is a rekindling of the friendship between the two, and a voyage of self-discovery for Mitch. He is so taken by Morrie’s words that he agrees to visit every Tuesday, even thought he will miss some important work commitments. Morrie’s illness is crippling but his talk is not maudlin; on the contrary he talks of what is beautiful in life and maintains his wonderful sense of humour which has the audience laughing throughout. Mitch learns from Morrie that life is about giving of oneself to those you love.
Terry Byrne puts in a great performance as Morrie, capturing his playful humour, as well as his great wisdom and humanity. Andrew Murray superbly portrays Mitch’s journey, as he learns from Morrie what he has forgotten about life. Despite the play being about a man dying, it is ultimately an uplifting night at the theatre which makes you think we should all be more like Morrie.
There was a standing ovation at the end which was fully deserved; this is an inspiring and superbly executed production.
Tuesdays with Morrie is now playing at the Civic Theatre from 4 – 8 September 2012. Book tickets here.