Our Fathers

Babakas

Summerhall

From 02 August 2013 to 25 August 2013

Rating: ****

Review by Seth Ewin

What really makes a good show at the Fringe is a dedicated and likable cast, and the three actors in Our Fathers meant that, though the subject matter was quite mundane, the end result was a moving and wonderful piece of theatre.

Treading the well-trodden ground of difficult or lacking father-child relationships, Sofia Paschou, Bert Roman and Mike Tweddle with their collective energy and inventiveness create a perfect little Fringe gem.

It starts with an argument between two guys when one of them, Mike, considers the possibility of fathering a child, but moves on from gay parenthood to the relationships each of the three characters have (or had) with their fathers.

In a blurring of lines between the play and reality the actors all use their own names, and there is blurring of the lines between the stage and the audience with Sofia using the audience as a hunting ground for new boyfriends. Sofia in these cosy interludes with the audience gives the audience a much-needed light-hearted break from the heavier stuff that makes up the bulk of the play.

The ways the different fathers are presented allows for lots of innovation with Sofia's father a shadow of Sofia in a hat projected onto to a screen. The different presentations of the fathers explore the image each of the three have in their heads of their fathers, as much as how their fathers actually are or were. 

The actors all bring different skills to the piece; Roman, for instance, is a dancer like his character and expresses some of his character's emotions in this way, while Tweddle uses music, the trombone. They are difficult to watch at times as a couple, the former angry, refusing to talk, the latter more pragmatic, more timid, the arguments very easy to relate to.

There is not one particular tragic moment in the piece and overall it is not a really sad piece, however I suspect there will be tears; at different times for different people, this is an emotional show.