Based on the real life experiences of Louise Breckon Richards, Can You Hear Me Running? is all about the determination to succeed and never giving up no matter what obstacles are thrown at you.
Louise Breckon-Richards had always loved singing and had been performing from a young age, until one day she discovered she had a problem with her voice. After numerous tests, it was discovered that she had lost her voice due to a rare condition and probably wouldn’t fully recover. Can You Hear Me Running? takes audiences through her journey, both the highs and the lows.
Written by Jo Harper and performed by Louise Breckon-Richards, Steve Grihault’s production combines live music, video projections and storytelling to create a very personal journey to overcome struggle and find positivity in other areas of your life.
Throughout this show the audience get a glimpse of the frustration, the despair and the anger that Breckon-Richards felt when discovering from a doctor there was a real possibility that she wouldn’t be able to sing again, the rawness on her face when she feels as though she has lost her purpose in life as well as a means of communication is particularly heart wrenching.
But the problem is that at times it gets a bit too technical and if you aren’t familiar with some of the medical terms thrown at you then it might be a struggle and it just feels a little bit superficial overall, everything is done in a matter of fact way, with no real opportunity to get emotionally involved.
Yet despite this, Louise Breckon-Richards’ performance is mesmerising, as she recalls everything in vivid detail, managing to effectively convey exactly how she is feeling – not always relying on the words but rather the movements and expressions as she moves across the space, saying a lot more than a thousand words could. There is certainly plenty of truth and frankness of everything that she goes through that shines through in her performance.
The use of live music, means that music and memory is very closely interlinked, hence when Dan Glover (Pianist and composer) is dismissed from the stage by Breckon -Richards, the audience is left with the sense that music as a form of communication was lost to her as well as her voice. A powerful moment.
However, there is still a message of hope that can be found as Louise discovers the joy of running, ending up running the London Marathon to channel her energy and freedom through another outlet. Through this a positive message comes through, revealing the power of positive thinking and having the grit and courage to overcome your personal battles.
Overall though, it feels as though it runs out of steam slightly towards the end but what it does do is ensure that the audience appreciates every joy and every struggle that they might come across in their own lives.
Can You Hear Me Running? plays at The Pleasance until the 23rd October. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/can-you-hear-me-running#overview