The Play About My Dad, Jermyn St London, 4****: William Russell



by Boo Killibrew.


Jermyn Street Theatre, 16B Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6SJ to 21 July 2018.

Mon-Sat 7.30 pm. Mat Sat 3.30pm.

Runs 1hr 30 mins No interval.

TICKETS: 020 7287 2835.

Review: William Russell 29 June.

After the Fall

After a sticky first few minutes when it all seems as if it is going to be dreadfully contrived as playwright daughter instructs doctor father in how to perform her work and he, with quite a lot of nods and winks to the audience, tries to change things Boo Killebrew’s play suddenly takes life and turns into a moving account of the impact of hurricane Katrina on the lives of people they knew. Director Stella Powell-Jones has secured good performances from her cast and manages the tricky moves in time – the characters live through the experience of the hurricane but also go back to live past meetings – with skill on Charlotte Espiner’s splendidly bare bones set of some packing cases and a few chairs.

Boo (Hannah Britland), who lives in New York, is estranged from her father (David Schael) – when he left his wife for another woman he agreed to her demand not to have any contact with his daughter – contacts him because of the hurricane as he is trapped in his hospital. In part it is a story about a relationship repaired. But it is also about other relationships – the two medical technicians trapped in their van, the old woman refusing to leave her home, the family forced to climb ever higher as the waters rise until they are on the roof of their house – and what happens to them. Weep and laugh, because while not all will survive.

Miquel Brown is touching as the stoic old woman, once nurse to Boo’s family, and the double act between the two technicians played by Ammar Duffus and Nathan Welsh is very funny – who will be best man at he other’s wedding seems to dominate –and as the little boy left clinging to a stone chimney T’jai Adu-Yeboah was heartbreaking. But naming names always seems unfair – the playing is all good and the play about the lives behind the official statistics of a disaster, although somewhat off the wall, well worth catching.

Boo Killebrew: Hannah Britland.

Larry Killebrew: David Schael.

Sallye Killebrew: Juliet Cowan.

Kenny Tyson: Ammar Duffus.

Neil Plitt: Nathan Welsh.

Jay Thomas: Joel Lawes.

Raina Thomas: Annabel Bates.

Michael Thomas: T’jai Adu-Yeboah or Taye Junaid-Evans.

Essie Watson: Miquel Brown.

Director: Stella Powell-Jones.

Designer: Charlotte Espiner,

Lighting Designer: Ali Hunter.

Sound Designer: Elena Pefia.

Costume Supervisor: Carolina Jobbis.

Dialect Coach: Nick Trumble.

Photograph: © Harry Linvingstone.


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