What makes Tom Wright’s play significant – as well as beautiful and worthwhile – is that it is based in truth and passion. Tom went on holiday to Thailand with his Dad and they got to know each other; from that came this heartfelt and extremely emotionally charged 90 minutes of fun ’n’ frolics that is a very special play. Tom is called William in My Dad’s Gap Year and acted by the gorgeous Alex Britt. Britt’s awareness of the conceptual, modern and very tidy stage is spectacular. He is the man of the family now looking after his mum Cath, played with an air of excellence and sophistication by Michelle Collins; whilst William’s Dad Dave is played by a very charismatic Adam Lannon.
This is the story of a family unit where Cath is surviving in a man’s world but what she really wants is the status quo resumed. But Cath has to accept the fact that her devoted husband has reverted back to being a precocious teenager addicted to video games. Interestingly her son being gay is not an issue for either her or Dave. At the heart of the play is the premise that confession is good for the soul. This is very real theatre, directed with great skill by Rikki Beadle-Blair. My Dad’s Gap Year examines sexual attraction, cultural differences, manipulation, respectability and acceptance.
With incredible support given by Max Percy as Matias and a very watchable Victoria Gigante as Mae, the story zips along with a spontaneity that is electric. The construction of the play may stick to certain safe rules but still delivers echoing the supposition ‘like father like son’ – and with zingers like ‘cancer is all about takings drugs’, this is a hoot. Utterly delightful. A marvellous theatrical treat made even more entertaining because you know that the writer Tom had a story to tell and we can only thank him for doing so. Splendid stuff!
Photos by Pamela Raith