Every family has its dysfunction but it’s only discussed during reunions and Christmas dinners, when grudges are brought up and plates thrown across the room. Rare is the occasion when a family would openly broadcast their neuroses, which explains the popularity of reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
From March 22 to April 14, we get a peek into the lives of the Willows in Repertory Philippines’ Father’s Day, a West End play about a separated family that “enjoys” a reunion after a crisis. Henry receives an unexpected visit from his estranged son, Matthew, and his goth girlfriend, Christine. Still bitter from the divorce that tore his family apart, Henry treats them unkindly. After discovering that Matthew has run away, he decides to call his ex-wife, Sue. The result is a stellar cast exchanging witty banter filled with dry humor.
Shining bright as Henry is Miguel Faustmann, who balances grouchiness with a serving of heart. I last saw the actor as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and while there are similarities, Faustmann’s portrayal of Henry has depth and emotion. He is complemented by Liesl Batucan as Sue, who played the ex-wife charmingly. She is a natural. After the show, the two revealed that they have acted in all sorts of parts opposite each other but they looked so good together as a former couple.
Matthew Willows is Andres Borromeo’s first role in a straight play but it doesn’t show. He gives the son a likeable personality that makes you root for him in his situation. Rachel Coates does not have a lot of lines but her physical appearance as Christine makes a strong statement.
Father’s Day is set during the winter and may be about a family drama, but the play exudes warmth. It’s smart, it’s cutting, but it gives you a serious case of the fuzzies. And isn’t that what family is about? You may want to stab each other but most of the time, you’ll just end up laughing.
This story is in partnership with Repertory Philippines. Tickets to Repertory Philippines’ Father’s Day are out now, and can be bought by calling REP at 451-1474, Ticketworld at 891-9999, or by logging on to www.ticketworld.com.ph. For updates and show schedules, log on to www.repertoryphilippines.ph. You may also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.