Writer: Richard Marsh
Director: Justin Audibert
Reviewer: Sheila Stratford
Wingman is a touchingly, funny and heart-warming comedy of a broken down father-son relationship. Written and acted by Richard Marsh, an Edinburgh Fringe First winner.
The thirty-something son is at his mother’s deathbed when his father arrives on the scene; however Richard (the son played by Richard Marsh) does not want his father there. He has never forgiven his dad for abandoning him and leaving his mother to bring him up single-handed. But his dad (Jerome Wright) will not be side lined that easily and insists they scatter Richard’s mother’s ashes together. At the same time, the son learns that he has made “the witchy welsh wonder” Brigitte, pregnant at the office party, leaving Richard with great self-doubt about his new rôle of parenthood and his relationship with Brigitte. But a wingman in the form of his own dad is there to rescue him and will not be deterred.
The story unfolds as a narrative presented to the audience by Richard, who cleverly slips from narrator to son to Brigitte. Told in prose and verse, it generates an additional humour to the tale, making it funnier and quite daring.
Richard’s unforgiving angst and self-deprecating personality works well against the persistently, eccentric, and carefree dad. With no props apart from two chairs and two microphones, the director Justin Audibert transports the audience from funeral, to a shared bath tub, to rubbish tip all in the course of seventy minutes.
There are some questions in the story that are conveniently left unanswered. What has converted the dad into this loveable character who abandoned his son so many years previously? Is it as the father meets his own mortality? You cannot fail to leave this very funny, entertaining production without a spring in your step and warmth in your heart as Wingman comes to the rescue.
Reviewed on: 30th September 2014