“Remember… remember… remember…” a sentiment that echoes throughout Victor Esses and Yorgos Petrou’s digital performance Unfamiliar at Home; the past an integral component informing their present – their journey towards creating a family of their own a powerful and emotional one.
We’re reminded of the beginnings of Victor and Yorgos’ 6 year relationship, their recollection of the small details, the shared moments endearing; it’s as if we’ve known of the couple a lot longer than the duration of the show. Split initially into three screens – the carpet of their living room, the living room and their kitchen, the clever staging delivers a multi-layered dynamic to the screen, allowing for both to articulate their thoughts and feelings together as well as individually and simultaneously.
We’re given an insight into how Victor and Yorgos’ journey of forming a family has had an impact on them as a couple, Victor speaking of his experiences of interviewing fathers identifying as LGBTQ+, attending an event educating prospective parents on surrogacy and a negative judgemental encounter – the show taking on a political air as Victor states that many have fought before him for equality, with many still continuing to do so. Moments like this within the performance showcasing the couple’s resilience.
Unfamiliar at home is honest, it captures the uncertainty of starting a family and the emotional impact that has within a relationship, the “remembers” now turning into “what ifs” as Victor and Yorgos contemplate their future, hypothetical in what could happen within their new family dynamic. A resonant piece of digital theatre not afraid of highlighting the complicated process of starting a family – from that initial conversation sparked in 2014, to attending events, visiting doctors, interviewing fathers who have gone through similar journeys to where they’re currently at now and presenting their show to us and starting up a conversation.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Unfamiliar at Home is currently showing online on Zoom until Wednesday 25th November 2020 on selected dates.
24th November, 7pm: Chapter, Cardiff
24th November, 7pm: Arts Depot, London
25th November, 7.30pm: Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
25th November, 7.30pm: The Place, Bedford