The God Box: A Daughter's Story

The God Box is a show which is well worth seeing. This one woman show is heartfelt, well acted, engaging and supplemented with great production. A simple collection of props allows Mary Lou Quinlan the support a single performer needs without crowding the stage. This said, the piece struggles slightly with connecting the numerous anecdotes considered. This jumpiness doesn’t detract much from the performance though; Quinlan delivers each new tale with as much passion as the last and the rough transition is forgotten.

The love for her mother which forms the basis of the story can never be doubted as anything other than genuine. And seeing as this is what The God Box is about, it results in an impressive production.

The show’s subject matter is very theatrical. A lot of the turns and twists make you realise how an ordinary person's story can make a touching stage production with the right adaptation. This isn’t an extraordinary story; it merely presents an average, albeit wealthy, American woman and her family, but displays regret, confusion, love and passion in equal measure. Parts of the story seem tinged with a sadness wrought from the American obsession with money and the power it holds. The play’s very existence goes to show that its author recognises this and thus has a mature, considered quality.

As mentioned, The God Box is emotive – much of the story deals with universals, such as familial love and rose-tinted memories of childhood. Some of it, however, does leave you feeling a little incredulous, particularly a dying character's admission that he ‘regrets absolutely nothing' from his entire life. This quote is part of one scene that is hard to swallow as a whole, but overall this enjoyable play is emotionally open and captures the audience’s attention. However, When a poignant play becomes self-conscious about making the audience cry it loses most of its potency. Here, some moments become didactically heartbreaking. That said, this only happens a couple of times during the performance, the rest of it is very tender and relatable.

Quinlan's character is vulnerable and basely human; she’s warm and understandable. The love for her mother which forms the basis of the story can never be doubted as anything other than genuine. And seeing as this is what The God Box is about, it results in an impressive production. 

Reviews by Duncan Grindall

theSpace on the Mile

Momma Was a Bad Mutha

★★
Assembly Roxy

The God Box: A Daughter's Story

★★★★
Bedlam Theatre

St Joan

★★★★★
Assembly George Square Theatre

Shirley and Shirley: Late Night Lock In

★★★★
Summerhall @ Roundabout

Britannia Waves the Rules

★★★★★
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

American Impressionism: A New Vision

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

An overachieving daughter, devastated after the sudden loss of her mother, makes a startling discovery: private boxes of notes to God written by the very hand that has slipped away. These secret petitions, scribbled on torn pages and Post-its, lure her onto an emotional rollercoaster, ricocheting from grief to laughter to the greatest human challenge: learning to let go. Based on her New York Times bestseller, The God Box, charismatic storyteller Mary Lou Quinlan shares her most personal journey yet. The solo show will make you laugh, cry and want to call your mother.