Our Fathers review

Summerhall

Graeme Braidwood
Sofia Paschou and Bert Roman in 'Our Fathers'

This debut show from theatre company Babakas starts with a very modern fatherhood dilemma. But over the course of a bright, funny, moving hour, it becomes an exploration of the timeless question of what it means to be a dad.

Mike Tweddle is gay and in a relationship with Bert Roman. Mike wants a child, so he responds to an email he's received from a woman who also wants to be a parent, but needs someone to provide her with the means. After he asks the opinion of Bert and their flatmate Sofia Paschou we come to meet each of their very different dads in very different guises. 

This is really too simple a description of a show which is far from formulaic. Tweddle, Roman and Paschou all play themselves and their experiences, it seems, are real. This is the story of their own fathers and as such there's a poignant authenticity about the piece.  

The audience is included in this journey – we're seduced by the sexy Sofia and Mike regularly appeal to us for support. There's dance, music, mime, shadow puppetry, video and a lot of off-beat humour.

What we discover is that Mike's dad is dead, Bert's dad doesn't believe he's gay and Sofia's dad – a frustrated singer – is very irritating. The fathers are all given a voice, through real journals, telephone conversations and snippets of their own history  and father-son relationships.  Although these are personal stories, most people will likely find something which relates to their own situation.

An answer to the dad question is never found, but the beauty of this charming piece lies in demonstrating on stage a little of the frustration, love and confusion wound up in having, wanting, or wanting to be, a father. 


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