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Camden Fringe 2023

Our Father

Mo Korede

Genre: New Writing

Venue: Theatro Technis


Low Down

This is a piece of new writing written and directed by Mo Korede. Performed by Shane Afolabi, Natasha Vassell & Dominique Reid. Produced by Sophelia Gentles and Katie Murray as Dramaturg. 


The stage was a scrap book setting with an armchair in the middle of the set. This signified the father figure which the characters would later interact with. The fire exits were re-purposed and backlit to show the shadow of the Father played by Dominique Reid. The tone was set from the moment you stepped into the auditorium, as Dominique moved through the light which waxed and waned as he travelled towards the sheet in a ghostly manner.  This was a lovely introduction to the world. 

It started with a prayer. The characters Alpheus, played by Shane Afolabi (vulnerable & grand) and Asenath, played by Natasha Vassell (Powerful and poised) moved through chapters of their life, as they explored their relationships with their fathers. A story which weaved through the past, present and future of what fatherhood meant to them both. The actors were exceptional and a joy to watched.

The play took on an untraditional structure, where the characters didn’t end changed necessarily but, travelled through time and space to land them in the present day. They broke the fourth wall to welcome the audience into their story and tonally, this worked wonderfully. This was a spiritual exploration of what it is to be human with influences of religion and how it shaped the characters (and their fathers) sense of self. 

‘Our Father invites audiences to follow us on a journey of catharsis and community-healing’. This was a beautiful performance allowing you to be lost in the characters, alongside your own thoughts and feelings. It’s a special feat, to allow the audience to sit in someone else’s story whilst they reflect on their own. The auditorium had a sense of awe as they watched and a roar as the play finished, when the audience climbed to their feet. 

There were some wonderful moments, including reflection on boundaries, love and the relationship you can long for. Mo Korede explored the relationship with the characters fathers with curiosity and care. The poetic structure allowed the dialogue to float through the space. Beautiful prose which drifted between feelings and storytelling. Lines such as ‘How do you forgive yourself? When you haven’t forgiven someone else?’ landed and rippled through the audience with resonation and reflection.  

The lights moved in an ebb and flow which enhanced moments in the story. The lights would isolate the characters and simply leave the actors to play into the gorgeous language offered by Mo Korede. The characters were comfortable as they moved around the space and it was a delight to watch the actors take the stage. 

I look forward to seeing where this show and these creatives travel too.