Writer: T.H. Marriott
Director: Tim Marriott
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
Tim Marriott is a busy man at this year’s Fringe, performing in and directing three productions, two of which he also wrote. All Change, the show he didn’t write, was written by his son and both Marriott and his co-star Stefanie Rossi came to the show late. In the two days they’ve had since they began rehearsing together, they’ve created a strong and convincing partnership as the father and daughter the play is about.
The play is the story of Ivor and Lily. Ivor is slipping into dementia while Lily can only watch and try to keep an eye on him as he finds it increasingly hard to remember her and to live anything resembling a normal life.
Many of the usual tropes of dementia plays are present with kettles used as a teapots and people in a room who aren’t really there. At times you wonder how Ivor has managed to live on his own for as long as he has done. While Lily has to watch her father’s demise she also has to cope uncomplainingly as he talks about her running away to America for the rest of her life, even though she has probably been back home for longer than she was ever away. Offsetting this, the two continue to play variations on Just A Minute, exchanging synonyms without hesitation or repetition, showing how the father daughter bond remains strong and giving them both something to cling to.
What really sets this play apart from the standard fare about dementia sufferers and the effect of their suffering on their children is the twist in the story. This sheds a different light on Lily’s actions. It’s poignant and moving and makes the play as much about what happens after it ends as it is about what happens during it.
It’s a piece that may make parents want to phone their children as well as children to phone their parents.
Runs on alternate days to 27 August | Image: Contributed