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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 Reviews 1 - Daughter - CanadaHub@ King's Hall, Four Stars / Class - Traverse Theatre, Four stars

“Am I not allowed to say that?”, writer/performer Adam Lazarus asks at one point towards the end of Daughter, his solo exploration of toxic masculinity and the mess it spews out. By this stage, Lazarus has taken a discomforting leap from goofy dad sporting butterfly wings and carrying a hula hoop, to something shocking. What follows in Ann-Marie Kerr’s production is a timely portrait of everyday misogyny hiding in plain sight.

What initially looks like a post-slacker piece of gonzo stand-up theatre double bluffs us into thinking the best and then the worst of Lazarus, an electrifying performer who has constructed a meticulous narrative provocation. Co-created by Lazarus with Kerr, Jivesh Parasram and Melissa D’Agostino, it lays bare a litany of barely suppressed everyday fear and loathing which becomes more truthful the more you recognise that it’s not a personal confessional. Or is it? Either way you look at it, this is hardcore.

There’s a double-edged sword to the title of Iseult Golden and David Horan’s play, Class, that becomes obvious from the minute parents Brian and Donna enter Mr McCafferty’s classroom to discuss the progress of their son Jayden. This is no ordinary parents evening, as the class divide between teacher, pupil and family opens up a huge gulf in terms of how social background defines everything from an early age.

With actors Stephen Jones and Sarah Morris flipping between Brian and Donna’s own dysfunctions and playing Jayden and his equally troubled classmate Kaylie, what emerges in Golden and Horan’s Dublin Theatre Festival hit is a punchy portrait of a world where language, learning and hand-me-down anxiety keeps an entire strata of society under its thumb. What happens to Jayden remains to be seen, but the emotional scars already run deep.

The Herald, August 6th 2018

ends


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