Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Tribute Acts, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
The beginnings of raw theatrical brilliance exist in this play, although in a manner which feels somehow not entirely finished. Cheryl Gallacher and Tess Seddon appear before us, two young women, and on the screens behind them are their respective fathers in pre-recorded form. One questions the other’s dad and vice versa, revealing them to us slowly. We learn that Yorkshirewoman Tess’ dad was a “socialist solicitor” who would be paid in bananas and onion bhajis by his stall trader customers, while Cheryl’s dad was her headteacher in Essex, his terrible repertoire of jokes making him a “dad in excelsis”.
Gallacher and Seddon are gifted performers and the video interaction is beautifully stage-managed. We learn a lot – they both grew up thinking their dads, socialist mavericks in conservative towns, were essentially Tony Blair – until it comes to the subject of divorce. It’s briefly broached in each interview, and while the pair give believable perspective on both father and daughter’s point of view, the lack of a sense of confrontation with their fathers or themselves at the end leaves the audiences panting for the story to continue further. It’s a brave, bold and fiercely realised work, although one with something of a work-in-progress feel to it at the moment.
Assembly Roxy (Venue 139) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015
Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage
• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing: sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest
• Download the WOW247 app for iOS and Android