Wil Greenway – For the Ground that Grew Me

When he speaks of his father’s ‘talkative blue eyes’, you know immediately from where Wil Greenway gets his knack for beautiful storytelling. For the Ground that Grew Me is a quirky, intimate and sometimes visceral homage to his roots.

It’s difficult not to come out of it missing your own family and aching for home.

Kathryn Langshaw is on xylophone, Will Galloway has brought his ukelele along and both supplement the show with soft folk vocals (think along the lines of the Australian answer to Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn). The format is simple and relaxed, while the message is clear: this is an experience which they want us to share together. The entire cast achieve a wonderfully warm and friendly atmosphere with ease, even though the whole thing feels a bit like a ramble around a dinner table, albeit one broken up by musical interludes and reflections on mortality.

‘There’s no reason you’ll want to hear my life story,’ Wil warns – and yet we do, because he’s so bloody good at telling it. Flitting between vignettes from his own life, he reflects upon the folklore of his family. Sometimes it’s a bit grisly, but the show is always honest, and it is this that makes it so relatable. You might never have watched your own dog devotedly hump a welly-boot, but you may well have fallen in love under embarrassing circumstances.

Evocative and brimming with sensory imagery, these personal legends are written in pure poetry: I refuse to believe there has ever been a more lyrical description of a rainy, hungover bus ride spent attempting not to vomit ever spoken. Perhaps what was missing was something tying this collection of yarns together – an underlying message, a conclusion. It is impossible to fault the central concept of the show, but its impact would have been greater had the piece had a clearer structure, beyond that of explaining anecdotes with more anecdotes, like babushka dolls of family stories.

But the show is definitely worth seeing, if only for Wil Greenway’s soulful, emotive delivery. It’s difficult not to come out of it missing your own family and aching for home. 

Reviews by Verity Bell

Assembly George Square Studios

Two Sore Legs

★★★★
Underbelly Med Quad

Wil Greenway – For the Ground that Grew Me

★★★
Assembly Hall

A Fine Line

★★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

All Our Friends Are Dead

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Billy Through the Window

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Broken Windows

★★★

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

That rich taste when you bite your tongue? It's those quiet stories in your blood, passed down from generations before you. These are mine. A new set of truths, fears and lies from the creator of Vincent Goes Splat ('...an absurd and yet utterly human story', Daniel Kitson), A Night to Dismember (runner up Best Comedy and Best Comedy performer at Auckland Fringe) and The Lounge Room Confabulators (Winner of the Underbelly Edinburgh Award).

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets