NANNA-STASIA – Eleanor Stankiewicz – Rhino Room – 4K

By Peter Maddern

The venue may suggest this is a comedy act but in truth Eleanor Stankiewicz’s Nanna- Stasia is so much more and accordingly deserves a bigger stage – and audience.

The Nanna Stasis in question is Eleanor’s grandmother and this is a tale of trying to get to know a life story from someone who is not very willing to part with it. Through fantasy, arising from a Disney film about someone of a similar background and through research of what exactly life was like in Lithuania, her nanna’s homeland, Eleanor beautifully and poignantly draws out the pieces of that story and brings them together as best she can.

Aided by a pianist and her well drilled musical theatre training, Stankiewicz moves seamlessly from song to sadness, and comedy to cabaret. This is an admirable take about losing the stories of elders who are passing on and having the courage and often the compassion to seek them out before it’s too late. In the current Eastern European turmoil it is also a timely reminder of a nasty world that is no longer that far away – both geographically and in time.

In truth, this work deserves better production values on a stage with more gravitas. What it can certainly do without is the use of a microphone; Eleanor Stankiewicz has more than enough talent and projection to get her excellent show across and most probably deliver a bigger punch without the any of the amplification.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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