National Arts Festival 2016: Father, Father, Father

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Rachael Neary, Roberto Pombo and Joni Barnard perform in Father, Father, Father, in Grahamstown on 6 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. In this quirky and menacing fantasy, three sisters are locked in a basement awaiting their father’s return. (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)
Rachael Neary, Roberto Pombo and Joni Barnard perform in Father, Father, Father, in Grahamstown on 6 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. In this quirky and menacing fantasy, three sisters are locked in a basement awaiting their father’s return. (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

Etienne Shardlow reviews Father, Father, Father:
Last night, I took the opportunity to see Father, Father, Father again. I took pleasure in seeing this show at Wits 969 Festival last year after it won silver Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival 2015. I took my partner along last night, because this is one of those shows that requires a witness to confirm that you saw what you think you saw. This dark satirical show is in part a light romp, in part sinister.

The show reminds me of a strobe light, as it alternates quickly between quirky fun and portrayals of abuse. Joni Barnard, Roberto Pombo and Rachael Neary are gifted young actors who appear to get a massive kick out of this zany production that warns of the dangers of blind faith through the play’s lightly masked religious symbolism.

I didn’t enjoy the show as much this time around, perhaps the larger venue took something of the magic from my first viewing, perhaps it works better when one experiences the shock factor of this piece for the first time. Having said that, I will still be recommending this show as a festival must see.

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Etienne Shardlow writes in his capacity as someone who takes pleasure in watching theatre.

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