Out of Our Father's House
Red Compass Productions
Gilded Balloon Teviot
From 03 August 2016 to 28 August 2016
Review by Amy Yorston
Out of Our Father’s House skilfully entwines the stories of different women from American history highlighting their struggles and achievements in a beautifully understated way.
There is little fanfare to this this production; a girl finds a book and begins to read about these ladies of the past, they then introduce themselves through monologue and folk song.
There’s an astronomer, a journalist, a preacher, several social activists and a nurse all facing discrimination, all fighting to excel. Whilst they do face legal barriers, the most difficult obstacle is expectation—when praised for her school work, Elizabeth’s father adds “oh had you been a boy.” Her role is to get married and have children, not to think or read.
The inclusion of live music brings a lovely sense of context and also breaks up the action, allowing the audience to gather their thoughts as the women nimbly switch between roles. With characters simply defined by a single prop or piece of costume, the focus is on the story, the diary extracts and the speeches.
Out of Our Father’s House is a quiet piece of feminist theatre, resonating strongly but avoiding being preachy. These were real women and this is a touching insight into a portion of history often forgotten.