Picture two girls in inflated, white suits dancing on stage. They wriggle and dance with delight, resembling a pair of bizarrely elegant sumo wrestlers. Tribute Acts is a touching piece about the relationships we create with family members; the expectations and disappointment that comes along with it. (Or at least, that could be what they were getting at.) In a confusing but wholly unique piece, Cheryl Gallacher and Tess Seddon invite us into their personal space to discuss growing up, leftist politics and disappointment. Seemingly unsure whether the piece is tragedy or comedy, Gallacher and Seddon occasionally seem unrehearsed, the fourth wall broken with wincing awkwardness and the whole thing slightly bizarre.
Nevertheless, Tribute Acts is charming in its own way. Gallacher and Seddon are immediately likeable. Resurrecting their fathers from the unknown, two screens hang ominously above them. Using projection, verbatim theatre and sound they innovatively recreate their fathers’ presence in the room. Talking to us, to each other, and to their fathers, the piece resembles a circled story-time sharing group. Reeling out questions and comparing answers, Gallacher and Seddon tell us about growing up, explore the concept of childhood, and prance around a lot.
An intimate and personal insight into the lives of two women and their fathers, Tribute Acts swerves into dark territories. Gazing on the deadpan expressions of the girls, it can be hard to know what emotions go where and why. The inconsistent energy doesn’t however take away from the piece’s overall tenderness. Entirely relatable, it will make you squirm with emotion.
Tribute Acts is an entirely original and creative piece, the love child of a stand-up comedy show, theatre production and living room chat. An examination of pop culture and family ties, Tribute Acts is great fun to watch in spite of its messy loose ends.
Tribute Acts plays Assembly Roxy until August 30 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information and tickets, see the Assembly Festival website.