On the Other Hand, We’re Happy provides a thought provoking and emotional journey in the search for family. Abbi (Charlotte Bate) and Josh (Toyin Omari-Kinch) don’t have the straight-forward ride to creating their family with little going to plan.
Abbi and Josh appear the perfect couple, together forever, loved up but aware of each others weaknesses. Instantly personable their trials and tribulations are felt by the audience. Josh needing to be convinced on parenthood. And then unable to have a biological child, the decision is taken to look at adoption.
And here the beauty of Daf James’s writing and Stef O’Driscoll’s direction come together. Involving the audience in the adoption process. The need to explore each aspect of their parenting and the choices and being of their potential child.
Both actors create a rapport with the audience which leaves you adrift as the choice to adopt Tyler is instantly peaked by Abbi’s death. Screeching through grief sees Josh return to the hope of fulfilling the commitment to adopt.
If Josh and Abbi’s relationship had endeared the audience, the relationship with Tyler (Charlotte O’Leary) wrenches a little in all that is and all that has been lost. Agreeing to meet with Tyler’s birth mother- in spite of this being Abbi’s wish not his- brings beauty and humour in the creation of a relationship to serve a better purpose.
On the Other Hand, We’re Happy is a fantastic piece of writing. Humour, happiness, grief and life are brought together by three fantastic actors. Peter Small’s lighting design adds to the atmosphere created through movement and moments. And there is a feeling and a reality that all which has been experienced won’t be forgotten.
On the Other Hand, We’re Happy is at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production at varying times until Saturday 24th August (excl. 20th).
Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. All views and opinions contained are my own.