How to Disappear Completely

The first impression I got of Itai Erdal was of a man far too self-absorbed, verging upon vanity instead of showmanship; a man who proclaims he has travelled far and wide to some of the remotest parts of the world; a man who professes to know every capital city in the world, and will challenge the audience to prove him wrong; a man who claims to have been in love 23 times yet has no partner. It was a naïve assumption to make on my part about the lighting expert, whose mastery of the limelight shines through to expose the harrowing life of a man dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of his deceased mother. Itai Erdal displays a picture of his mother’s last days on earth through a mixture of storytelling and footage. Some viewer discretion is advised as the topic of euthanasia may be distressful for some.

A window into the past, How To Disappear Completely is a raw exposure of the life of a man burdened by the past, an exposition that pulls all the heart strings and leaves one richer for the experience.

Erdal is adapt at jumping from the tragic to the comedic and back again, with one amusing tale being a story of getting raped by a manatee in Vanuatu. Instantly, he drags you back to the dramatic side with his lights and footage of his family and friends as they discuss his mother’s declining health. All the while Erdal brings you through the technical aspects of lighting a stage, from the ghostly Footlight to the silhouette-creating “Shinbuster,” all complemented by an adequate venue choice in the Big Belly at the Underbelly. The culmination of the show brings Erdal to explaining his decisions in helping his mother to end her life. Since then he has searched in vain to find someone to help fulfil his mother’s desire to continue her legacy, though he hopes to one day find someone truly special.

At times it is difficult to concentrate upon the film and Erdal’s translations, which jars a little with the tenderness it seeks to express. However, Erdal never loses momentum and is adept at covering up the smallest of mistakes. I was a little unsure of the ending which felt like it should have faded out completely, but maybe it served a better function to recall his mother’s philosophy about the preservation and continuation of life instead of disappearing completely.

A window into the past, How To Disappear Completely is a raw exposure of the life of a man burdened by the past, an exposition that pulls all the heart strings and leaves one richer for the experience.

Reviews by Stuart Mckenzie

Mirth Meltdown @ 52 Canoes

A Pessimist's Guide to Being Happy

★★★★
The Stand’s New Town Theatre

Is God a Psychopath?

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

John Pendal: Monster

★★★★★
The Jazz Bar

The Katet Plays Stevie Wonder

★★★★
Scottish Poetry Library

Umbrella Man

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Award-winning lighting designer and storyteller Itai Erdal draws on a life lived between his birthplace, Jerusalem, and home in Vancouver. In 2000, he was told his mother had nine months to live. Combining the power of story telling with the nuanced potency of stage lighting, Erdal demonstrates his approach to theatrical lighting to poignant effect as he reflects on events that followed his mother asking him to take her life. 'The show's pacing is impeccable. Erdal balances humor, beauty, and tragedy with the expertise of a tightrope walker' (Portland Monthly). '...terrific story teller' (Herald Chronicle).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets