A typical family? What does that even mean? The nuclear family? Mother, father, son and daughter? A single parent household; mother and daughter? Father and son? Vice versa. The list goes on and on. They say you can’t live with your family, but simultaneously you can’t live without them. The familial structure is a complicated one, especially when you throw in the devastating effects of death.
I Know All the Secrets In My World, a work in progress produced by Tiata Fahodzi takes the multifaceted concept of family and loss, and presents a kaleidoscope of emotion. Gamba Cole and Solomon Israel present a father a son family unit, engrossed by the mighty Nintendo Wii, their bond is apparent as they comedically perform synchronised movements. The piece begins with a comic book-esque vibe, with references to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Superman, establishing the theme of masculinity that is continually yet subtly resonant within the piece. The matriarch, voiced by Keisha Amponsa Banson, remains in the background, her soulful voice and overlooking comments accompanying the action onstage.
The light hearted, playful mood however descends into heartbreak, as the matriarch disappears from the lives of both her husband and son forever. Once a vibrant, energetic guardian figure, managing the goings on in the house, she is now a figment of memory as the two male figures are forced to adapt to a life without her. A dark cloud overshadows Alyson Cummins‘s kitchen sink set, as synchronised movement become individualistic calls of grief, despair and anger. The two doorways present become the means to escape confrontations, a labyrinthine setting that affords for both characters to venture into different worlds, whether that be the bathroom or their bedrooms.
The very fact that the only way in which the 2 protagonists communicate is via actions and movements is extremely poignant. Their bond is unquestionable, even after the death of their loved one. The production allows for the audience to read between the lines, giving them power to figure out the character’s thoughts. Writer and Director Natalie Ibu presents a moving and heartbreaking narrative, a narrative that repeats the everyday, the mundane, but highlights how the change in family infrastructure can completely alter the ordinary. A must see, I had to hold back the tears. 4.5/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
I Know All the Secrets In My World was shown at The Little House on Saturday 18th July as part of this year’s Latitude Festival. For more information on this year’s Latitude line up, visit here…