Directed by Ben Harrison
Reviewed by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
“The Tailor of Inverness” is the compelling and often haunting story of playwright Matthew Zajac’s inexhaustible search for the truth about his father Mateusz’s past after discovering new information about him after his father’s death in 1992. This information is provided through a powerful and engaging performance by Matthew Zajac in this first offering of 59E59 Theaters’ “Brits Off Broadway” Festival.
Mr. Zajac plays the role of his father and himself in seventy-five minutes of monologues, projections, illustrated maps, correspondence, visits, and breaks in the sacred fourth wall in dramatic interactions with the audience. Using only brief costume changes and removing his glasses (as Matthew) and wearing glasses (as Mateusz), Mr. Zajac relates the attempts to reconstruct the authentic memory of a family torn apart by the horrors of the Second World War and the atrocities of the Third Reich. He uses the extended metaphor of circling and ultimately trapping a fox to describe his search for the truth about his father.
Matthew circles the patchwork of his father’s life and eventually “catches” the complicated matrix of the life of his tailor father in all its honor, strength, and secretive spaces, including the existence of his half-sister whose small dress (made for her by Mateusz) adorns the set throughout the performance and challenges and teases the perceptions of the audience.
There are times the repetition in Mr. Zajac’s story (telling and retelling the same events often in the same way) threatens to distract from the power of his intriguing story of redemption and reconciliation but the repetition serves to express the often circuitous and repetitive path to the discovery of the truth and the often reverberant consequences of that discovery.
All remaining performance are either sold out or not available for purchase; however, it would be important to call Ticket Central to see if there are cancellations or wait-lists for any of the performances.