A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Eureka Day

Eureka Day
20. September 2022
Old Vic
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Eureka Day, currently playing at the Old Vic, is a beautiful examination of our age of disagreement, misinformation, fear, and tolerance.

Set at a small community school in California, the parents on the Executive Committee of the Eureka Day private school are progressive, open, and very proud of the inclusive environment they have created at this little school. Focussed on communication and making the school accessible and comfortable for all their students, they are suddenly faced with a huge public health scare as Mumps rages through their ranks. This is when parents who do vaccinate their children are confronted with those who do not.

Instead of painting parents sceptical of vaccine schedules as mindless idiots, this play looks at both perspectives with respect and measure, trying to see how loving parents come to the conclusions they do, even if science may not support their claims.

It’s surprisingly funny and very human and real. Different mindsets clashing in an environment where the health and lives of children are at stake, but parents still try to keep up a sense of mutual respect. The presentation is very interesting, though the audience does get a little loud at a few spots (roaring laughter, mind you, so not a bad kind of noisy audience) which made it impossible to hear the debate on stage during one particular scene where an online chat is simultaneously projected onto the backdrop. I did think it would have been nice to leave a few gaps for laughter so we could still follow the conversation happening at the same time.
But other than that small snag, it is a fantastic play that approaches a very difficult topic without prejudice, laying bare the emotional rawness that often lies behind difficult to understand decisions, and showing how difficult it can be to find compromises when the decisions to be made do not leave room for exceptions.

A very funny show that doesn’t poke fun at anyone, fantastically presented.

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