An Awkward Family Christmas – The Herald Theatre

If you thought your family were weird then you may want to reassure and reaffirm your ‘normal’ status by watching An Awkward Family Christmas.

This crazy festive offering from the Outfit Theatre Company, in association with STAMP at THE EDGE, will bombard you with so many awful family situations that you will be pleased to sit down for Christmas lunch with your lot this year!

Centred around the pretty young Polly as she tries to please her more than dysfunctional siblings and parents on Christmas day, An Awkward Family Christmas is not your standard festive tale.

Polly, who seems to suffer from some severe physical and mental problems, is eager to please and really is the gem of the family, while her partner Percy is no way near as pure but just down right sinister.

The family arrive starting with her stoner brother Buddy and his ‘close’ friend with whom he seems slightly too enamored. Then there’s her Dad, Trevor, and his sexy new lady Felicia, and Mum, Denise, with her new lesbian life partner Kaz. Wait there’s still more! Her creepy incestious sibling twins Keith and Keitha make a load and confident entrance. Finally she also has the pleasure of living next door to Englishman Winston, a desperate loner looking for a family this Christmas.

Inspired by the thousands of awkward family Christmas photographs available online, writer Thomas Sainsbury and director Benjamin Henson have created a truly cringe worthy ensamble. There are a lot of laughs and silliness and I particularly enjoyed the shenanigans of the uber competitive and ever so slightly psychotic twins played by Joel Herbert and Kate Vox. Laura Daniel also had a lot of fun playing the ‘angry lesbian’ Kaz. Actress Jacqui Nauman is excellent as the spaced out ever happy Polly.

Overall I found there to be some enjoyable moments and a few laughs too although some stereotypes and subject matter pushed a little too far for my liking. At some points I wasn’t even sure if I was being offended or not? The cast is energetic and having fun but there may just be too much going on. The story could have had less subplots and instead delved deeper in to some interesting relationships within the family, like Polly and Percy and John and Denise.

However you don’t go and see The Outfit Theatre Company for run of the mill or commonplace stories. This is an insane Yuletide romp of bombastic proportions with aliens to boot!

An Awkward Family Christmas is on at The Herald Theatre until 1 December.

 

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