Saturday, June 15

Dad, Playboy, & Me…. Not Your Average Slideshow – The Water Rats

‘Cathartic, creative and healing’.

AG Nortan’s Dad, Playboy, & Me… Not Your Average Slideshow has travelled all the way from the USA to share her story, first at the Brighton Fringe, then the Camden Fringe in London and then at Edinburgh Fringe. AG Nortan calls herself a Londoner at heart and deeply enjoys weaving this story of her father, her grandfather, and their mentors as she uncovers many boxes of unprocessed film in her parent’s basement during the pandemic.

The performance shares the painstaking process she went through to digitalise the photographs. Amanda is aware that what she uncovers is from another space/time continuum. She is trying to put her lived experience as a queer, feminist woman trying to humanise and understand an absent dad who passed away when she was 16 years old. She keeps referring to work the bunnies do as ‘acts of service’ and reminds us that her family only went to the Playboy clubs but can also see how the playback mansions allowed for severe assault and suffering for the women who worked there.

The performance is able to bring to the forefront the unheard stories of Zelda, who designed the Playboy bunny costume but, more importantly, also consistently contributed to social work and community building at a time in America when racial segregation was still practised. We watch the indomitable Berenice Abbot afoot carrying her gear to capture the mesmerising New York shots.

Watch the show as we collectively grieve for those whom we lost during the pandemic. May the show inspire you to declutter your closets and leave written and voice notes to your loved ones. May the show inspire you to find your artistic expression and the roots that have coloured who you are.

Reviewer: Anisha Pucadyil

Reviewed: 14th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.