Decades before Mitch and Cam dared to define the new face of the modern (gay) family, Alison Wearing and her two brothers were living out their own unique definition.
In Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, Wearing recalls her struggles of acceptance and understanding when she discovers at the age of 12 that her father is gay.
On a bare stage save a slide projector and a lime green hamper that hints at the era in which the bulk of her stories take place, Wearing not only guides us through her father’s central revelation, but spends much time on her own struggles of accepting her father as gay.
That Wearing is first-and-foremost a writer is evident throughout as she paints rich pictures with her words; her description of traveling between her mother’s home in Peterborough and her father’s in Toronto on the Greyhound bus is enough to elicit a physical reaction. The use of family photographs helps to underscore time and place although it is odd that it isn’t until the end of her performance that Wearing actually acknowledges them.
Given Wearing’s pedigree as a writer it comes as no surprise that her one woman show has recently become a published book and with it an admission that this performance takes the place of a regular podium reading. With a performer of lesser skill the cynic could easily view this as nothing more than a marketing ploy to drive book sales; fortunately that is not the case as Wearing is an engaging and skilled performer.
Playing out like a love letter to a father, Wearing shows us exactly what unconditional love can reap. We should all be so lucky.
Written and performed by Alison Wearing. Part of the 2013 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and showtimes.