Licedei Theatre, Family Semianyki

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

A raucous and hilarious show that brought to light a few home truths about what it is to be a family. And what a family this is! There’s the frightening baby who rips the heads off dolls; the permanently drunk father slouching and staggering through the auditorium; the terror children – one that is always sick, and one that tortures and torments her siblings. All have great moments, but the best by far is the swollen-bellied mother. The show opens with her slapping wet washing around the stage; for the next hour or so she takes on members of the audience, both keeps the peace and incites violence, and still manages to regularly seduce her wayward husband back into the bosom of the family.

The moments of slightly bigger budget tricks (such as an animated piano and a re-filling pint glass) were magical – but not in comparison to the clever moments of mime in which the performers simply do what they do best: the son starts scribbling frantically on an invisible chalk board that spans the length of the stage – by the time everyone has come to read it (and his mime is so exact that we can tell exactly what he has written) we are genuinely surprised when someone walks through the middle of it.

The audience is actively involved. We become the orchestra for the son to conduct, we are sprayed with water, and find ourselves in a giant pillow fight. During the final moment when thousands of paper streamers fall from the ceiling and cover the whole audience. I found myself completely enthralled: I caught the ecstatic expression on the little girl next to me, and found myself grinning in a shared moment of appreciation.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 25