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Dogstar Theatre production The Tailor of Inverness' story of migration and refugees at Eden Court has never been more timely

By Kyle Walker

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REVIEW: The Tailor of Inverness

Eden Court, Inverness


A CONFESSION, readers – this latest revival of The Tailor of Inverness marks the first time that this writer has seen arguably the region’s most celebrated piece of theatre from the last few decades.

But sat in the almost-full OneTouch theatre, the production has clearly lost none of its power 11 years on from its debut performance – its twin stories of forced migration and family secrets blending personal and political together to devastating effect.

And the story of Matthew’s father Mateusz, his trek across Europe and his struggles to settle in a new home a thousand miles from his own resonates ever stronger in 2019 where refugees continue to be displaced by war and famine.

Matthew Zajac anchors the piece wonderfully, as well as one would expect of the award-winning actor. After all, this is his own as much as his father’s story, and he wears the respective moral weights of both men heavily and extremely powerfully.

He slips between performing as his father – hunched shoulders, slightly awkward gait, an accent that melds his native Polish with a distinctly Scottish twang – and speaking of his own story of discovery about his father ’s past with the comfort and ease that a decade of experience – and six decades of life – would provide.

The backing music of a solitary fiddler – sat to the side, offering a mournful musical accompaniment – threaded its way through the otherwise one-man show, and its use of jackets as costuming, as props, as mementos from history hit in unexpected ways. Two children’s shirts to represent two Jewish boys lost in the horrors of the Holocaust hit home particularly hardly.

The Tailor of Inverness continues to prove itself a complex and often beautiful production that hits home hard with the full weight of history behind it.

For more info about The Tailor of Inverness, go to www.dogstartheatre.co.uk

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