Fringe Show Addresses Euthanasia
A hot button topic in Australia may not be so controversial in the rest of the world.
My Grandmother's M.A.I.D. - A comedy written and performed by Canadian comedian Dion Arnold, is one sure to ruffle a few feathers, but less than you might expect.
In Canada and around the world, the most popular topic of the day is always around freedom: social freedom, freedom of expression, freedom from oppression, to live and be accepted as you choose, and for some that may also extend to the freedom to die with choice and dignity. Why should freedom stop at how we live? Why shouldn't freedom extend right to the end?
In 2015 legislation was passed to allow euthanasia in Canada. The M.A.I.D. program (Medical Assistance In Dying) is available to terminally ill patients, who are near death, with little or no quality of life, and little or no chance of recovery. It is the patient's decision alone. It is there to alleviate unnecessary suffering with warning, so goodbyes can be said, last words remembered.
Hilarious topic, right? Dion Arnold felt so. And so did the critics, as the show garnered a 4 star review on opening night when it premiered at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival (Canada) this past 2018 season. With reviewers calling it "Heartwarming & Heartbreaking. Exuberant & Shameless." - Ramin Ostad, VueWeekly.
The theme of this show is particularly pressing in Australia at the moment, as Victoria pasted legislation in 2017 for a similar program. Yet in 2019 it has still to come into effect. The northern states had (for a time) opened their borders to such programs, though swiftly overruled by the federal government. Currently the country-wide consensus is a staggering 75% in favour.
The program in Canada has become widely used by elderly folk who've lived their best days, and would like to see their worse days left behind them, or avoided all together.
Last fall, at the age of 96, Dion Arnold's grandmother was allowed to make that very decision. She led an active and vibrant life, until a sudden condition left her unable to control her physical body. Determined to not live as an invalid, she made her request for the M.A.I.D. Program.
Inspired by his grandmother's resolve and her desire to broaden awareness on how euthanasia can be a positive alternative to a painful end, Dion Arnold (comedian, actor and writer) has written a one-man, story-telling, comedy show. Based on his grandmother's life, choices, and his family's profound and uplifting experience with the M.A.I.D. program.
My Grandmother's M.A.I.D. is currently touring across Australia and New Zealand, appearing at: World Fringe in Perth (Jan 19th-Feb 9th) Tickets available at FringeWorld.com.au / The Adelaide Fringe Festival (Feb 15th-20th) Tickets available at FringeTIX.com.au / New Zealand Fringe, Wellington (March 7th-16th) Tickets available at Fringe.co.nz / The Dunedin Fringe Festival (March 24th-30th) tickets available at DunedinFringe.nz
For a full list of dates and show times in each city, please visit DionArnold.com/tour