Unfamiliar at Home proves a fascinatingly different kind of theatre to stream
“Every relationship has to have an interaction”
Reflecting their varied creative oeuvres, Unfamiliar at Home feels as much an art installation as it does a piece of theatre. A highly personal piece, flush with autobiographical detail, we follow theatre and performance maker Victor Esses and visual artist Yorgos Petrou as they go about trying to start a queer family whilst, you know, there’s a pandemic on.
Performed live in their own and streamed into our own, there’s a peculiar form of domesticity at play here. Cameras in the living room and kitchen offer up a view into this real-life couple’s world but with a cool, almost pyschoanalytical lens. Word games give us the story of how they met, or do they? Pre-recorded interviews guide the path of their journey towards surrogacy but pull us away from these two men at crucial moments.
The cumulative effect is gentle but persuasive. Unfamiliar at Home is very much Victor and Yorgos’ story but it also proves so emblematic of the experience of so many queer people as they navigate primarily heteronormative spheres and find that challenges can lie as much within themselves as with the outside world. Notions of internalised homophobia are rarely explored as eloquently as they are here, A fascinatingly different kindof theatre to stream.