Writer and Performer: Bert Hana
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
There’s a sense of trepidation for audience members attending Bert Hana’s award-winning Daddy Day as we’re led along the streets of Brighton to an unspecified venue.
On arrival, into an event room at a nearby hotel, we’re greeted by Hana, asked our names and offered a drink. As paper tumblers of lemonade are handed around, a tape player plays the type of innocuous background music that wouldn’t feel out of place at any corporate event.
Hana then explains he wants to share some pictures of a camping holiday with his daughter. Firing up a distinctly retro slide projector, Hana flicks through a cassette full of slides of what looks, frankly, a somewhat rundown campsite in Ijmuiden.
Occasionally Hana chips in with a comment, telling is that is the sea or that he likes a particular colour. The are shots of Hana but oddly none of his daughter.
As the second cassette is loaded we are offered some crisps but told to take only one. As the slides continue they shift to Hana’s childhood and the commentary dries up. A break to listen to Ralph McTell’s Girl On A Bicycle clearly upsets Hana as his slideshow resumes to a series of blank slides and eventually a group of graveside slides.
And that is it.
Hana obviously finds the entire experience deeply moving and on some level is an interesting host, but the overwhelming impression left is confusion. What is the relevance of this holiday, who or what exactly is Hana grieving over and more importantly what are we supposed to take away from it all? There are some fascinating moments where we begin to think we know the reasoning behind the piece but then we head off in another tangent so ultimately are left bemused and frustrated.
Reviewed 3 June 2017 Brighton Spiegeltent
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