Writer: Adam Lazarus
Director: Ann-Marie Kerr
Reviewer: David Doyle
When Daughter played in Canada it sparked a thousand conversations and its run at Summerhall’s Canada Hub is likely to ignite just as many. An exploration of toxic masculinity from writer and performer Adam Lazarus, the piece is one of many in the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe programme which seeks to probe conversations relating to the #MeToo movement in what is a provocative piece that has some deep flaws.
At the heart of the piece is a father’s story of his relationship with women, from sexual partners to his own daughter. Oscillating constantly between charm and danger, the play seeks to make us question our own role within misogynistic society. From the earliest moments of the piece, Lazarus attempts to draw the audience in by making himself seem like an everyman, someone we can see ourselves in. This is necessary for the piece to fully work, however also shows one of the major flaws in the play’s structure for if we don’t see ourselves in Lazarus, there is a fundamental question as to what the show offers apart from a demonstration of the extreme consequences of misogyny. The show is most interesting in treading a line between the real and the fictional. Never quite sure whether what Lazarus speaks about is real or not, the audience is left with an unnerving sensation as the play hurtles towards the inevitable theatrical conclusion.
Ultimately the show is more interesting than anything else. The conversations it provokes are as much part of the show as the performance itself. While the writing is technically impressive and the performance engaging, there must ultimately be a question as to whether such an exploration of misogyny told only through the lens of a male perpetrator without sufficient exploration of ramifications and impact on others can offer enough of a nuanced insight into the issues at the heart of the show. Daughter will undoubtedly provoke conversations and is a show worth seeing with others in order to examine its messages most thoroughly.
Runs until 26 August 2018 | Image: John-Lauener