Storytelling through rhyme and rap may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t let it put you off Stefanie Preissner‘s play, Our Father. The young actress, who also stars here, has delivered a script that is funny, poignant, and perfectly paced. While clumsy at times, there is enough here to recognise the writer, who debuted this offering at last year’s Absolut Fringe Festival, has the skill to move from the frenetic, to the reflective, with impressive accomplishment.
We first meet Preissner’s Ellie struggling to cope with the reality of loss. Her father, played by Pat Dolan, walked out on her and her mum when she was just seven years old. That moment leaves an indelible mark on her emotionally, and forms the focal point for the play’s characters.
Preissner, Dolan and Gene Rooney deliver performances which captivate and entertain. Pain, regret and anger are subtly handled, displaying an insight and a feel that convinces – while there are light-hearted moments thanks to the humour in Preissner’s script and the deft hand of Tara Derrington’s direction.
Throughout, Jo Linehan, on drums, provides a rhythmic backdrop to the rhyme and rap of the actors’ performances as they reveal the journeys which lead them to the play’s conclusion. That conclusion may leave you feeling somewhat unsatisfied, with much to be resolved, but perhaps that fits in perfectly with the realities of relationships for many modern Irish families, which this production deals with.
Star Rating: 4/5
Review by: Declan Ferry – 19 April 2012 (Theatre Review)
Dates: Monday 16th – Saturday 21st April @ 8.15pm
Cast: Stefanie Preissner, Pat Dolan, Gene Rooney, Jo Linehan
Company: With an ‘F’ Productions
Venue: Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin