My Son and Heir by Search Party was the opening show to Making In The City, part of a series produced by Parlour Showrooms. It looked at the subject of parenting and relationships between family and a couple of parents, admidst the hype of the birth of the new Prince.
It starts as being quite absurd. The audience was traverse, seated either side of a strip of a beige carpet littered with toys in every shade of pink. The two performers enter as THE royal couple, shaking hands and greeting their public. It is funny, the usual jokes about parenting. Their children are the best, they are the greatest parents. They have face paint on, and have all the toys their daughter could want. But where are the boys toys.
The play went on to explore the issues around expectations, and what the different outcomes of who their child could grow up to be. What sort of parents they are. Seemingly still skirting around things most people must think, but not speak of, when raising a child. Will my child understand they will get squashed by cars in the street?
With the comedy and the stumbling over the waves of toys, and the lustful relationship the parents try to create, you don’t expect the couple to go to a darker place. But they do. Again, a subject that many parents must ponder but never speak about. The negative things a child could grow up to do, or be.
The performance worked as it is a broad subject, enabling audience members to take their own meaning, and use their own experience of childhood, parenting and parent child relationship as an influence.
The performance space is a small and intimate one, and this suited the performance as it seemed to capture very personal moments between the performers and you felt right in the middle of it. Forced to question how you felt, forced to consider whether it was funny or whether it was in appropriate. Every now and again catching the eye of an audience member opposite. Right on the stage, close enough to reach out and touch the toys and set.
I will be going back to see more of the In The City Series and am excited to see what more is on offer over the next 6 months of the series.