>>> SummerWorks review: Daughter

DAUGHTER by Adam Lazarus. Factory Studio. Aug.


DAUGHTER by Adam Lazarus. Factory Studio. Aug 8 at 9 pm, Aug 12 at 10:30 pm, Aug 13 at 10:30 pm, Aug 14 at 6:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN


Despite its title and the adorable opening sequence in which Adam Lazarus talks about dancing to pop tunes with his 5-year-old girl, this is definitely not a show about the joys of paternity.

In fact, if you have issues around bullying, abuse, self-destructive behaviour and misogyny you should take the pre-show warning seriously. This isn’t an easy work to watch, but its themes are more urgent than ever.

Lazarus begins by recounting his wife’s harrowing and prolonged delivery and his subsequent sleeps interrupted by an infant daughter. After testing the audience’s reaction to one incident, he confesses to more: affairs, porn habits and what he did while he was living in Japan.

The result is a visceral gut punch about society-condoned male behaviour. Lazarus uses his natural likeability by drawing us deeper into his nightmarish world. Are we complicit because we’re silently watching? He and co-creators Ann-Marie Kerr (who also directs, superbly), Jiv Parasram and Melissa D’Agostino are also probing the limits of truth and fiction in art.

A few more glimpses into the narrator’s earlier years might add texture to the character. But as it is, this is a strong, disturbing play, one you’ll need to discuss with friends afterwards.

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