Daddy Issues ★★★ Seven Dials Playhouse | Oct 24 - Nov 19, 2022

The title says it all. Imi, formerly Imogen, is dealing with the death of her father and the loss of her childhood self. It is Halloween and all the ghosts of Imi's past are returning to haunt her. Her struggles are centred around the complex emotions released by her grief and by the conflicted nature of her relationship with her father. Imi is a vlogger who is publicly dealing with her trauma and with her family inheritance of dysfunction. At one point, she says her grandfather murdered his emotions while emotions murdered her father. The question becomes how will Imi cope. At the moment we encounter her, she is externalising her feelings and self-medicating. Bebe Cave does a fine job of capturing Imi's pain and its transmutation into mourning for her dead dog, Roger, and some dark humour. It is a convincing performance, but unfortunately an affecting presentation of trauma is not really sufficient to make for a fully-realised play. While one may sympathise with Imi and respond to her pain, this snapshot of her life is more a vlog than a drama. It might have been more interesting if the audience had seen Imi in the context of her relationship with her father and grandfather and had been able to draw their own conclusions. Filtering everything through Imi's perspective and being limited by her recounting of events didn't work for us. That said, Daddy Issues raises some important questions about suffering and survival.

Rated ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Helen Murray.

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