Richard Marsh's latest Edinburgh Festival Fringe show is a poignant and witty father-son drama
This article is from 2014.
The third in Richard Marsh’s trilogy of poetic plays – previous entries saw him struggling with love and maturity – is a bold meditation of the crisis of masculinity, as Richard finally reunites with his absent father – just as he becomes a father himself.
Casting Richard as almost the villain – childishly blaming his father for his own failures and refusing to forgive – Marsh’s script is honest and thoughtful. The squabbles between the two men, with Jerome Wright playing a winning rogue as the older father, are poignant and witty.
Despite the fluid poetry of the words, and the rapid pace of the direction, Wingman exposes the vulnerability of men unprepared for fatherhood and balances comic episodes, such as a desperate attempt to find Richard’s mother’s ashes in a dump, against tender moments of reconciliation between the two dads.
The incisive swipes at Richard’s immaturity, and Marsh’s ability to use eloquent language to describe a scene in emotional detail, raises Wingman above the predictable angst of a ‘men in crisis’ drama into a more positive, and heart-warming conclusion.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 12, 22), 2.10pm, £9–£12 (£8–£11).