Jan 12

Review: Daughter

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

To say that Daughter is a provoking piece of theatre is an understatement. It would be more accurate to say that Daughter is bait and switch!

The performance starts off warm and fuzzy with a father (Adam Lazarus) talking about dancing with his 6-year-old daughter. The music of Tegan and Sarah blaring from his phone, while he dances around in butterfly wings and a pink headband. But don’t be fooled, this play is not that. This play is not about that at all. Daughter dives deep into the dark side of fatherhood and manhood, ostensibly in a critique of toxic masculinity.

Quiptake and Pandemic Theatre open Daughter (written and performed by Lazarus, co-created by: Ann-Marie Kerr, Jivesh Parasam, and Melissa D’Agostino ) to be warm and inviting. The narrator talks about how his baby was born and how things are very complicated with his daughter in comparison to the relationship with his son, which is much simpler.

We go back to his time growing up as a little boy. The story starts to build, centering on his relationship with women. How he tormented them and played pranks on them as he was growing up. Then, as he got older, the story changed into how he got into drugs and porn. We can see through the reflection of his past relationships with women as a youth and into adulthood has shaped his world and his outlook towards women. What they are there for and how he grew up to view them – as objects. Slowly, as he unravels and the audience picks up the pieces, you realize that the narrator has a complete and total disregard for other people – particularly women.

Michelle Ramsay’s lighting design highlights the story when it veers into alarming, particularly violent behaviour. Richard Feren’s sound design takes it from the narrator’s story, music playing out of his phone, to playing in the theatre. It really brings about the sense that this might not be just his story.

Daughter is dark, violent and disturbing. It is a slow realization that the narrator is trying to make you a part of his story, like, “we’ve all done this, right?” “This is okay right?” Though it is slow to come on, as the audience, you feel the horror as it brews. By the end you start to wonder if it is just “boys being boys” or is it just this one guy?

Daughter is presented by Quiptake and Pandemic Theatre and is part of the High Performance Rodeo. It plays until January 14, 2018. More information can be found online.

Photo by Alejandro Santiago

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