Daughter: the divisive show that Festival audiences raved about or hated

January 12, 2019
Sydney Festival
Hear what the critics and audience have to say

As an intimate, one man monologue about misogyny and toxic masculinity, Daughter was always going to be a provocative piece of theatre, and reviews and audience feedback have ranged from praise of the show as "confronting theatre at its sharpest" through to criticism that the show gives misogyny an "un-interrogated, un-framed platform [where] it is necessarily valorised and glorified as worthy."

Read a selection of reviews and audience responses below - there is still one performance left where you can join the discussion and decide for yourself.


★★★★ "It’s billed as a deep dive into the male psyche, attracting epithets like 'provocative', 'hardcore' and 'incendiary' from the critics... Much that is effective and disturbing about the piece flows from the blurring of actor and character... It’s therefore a work that requires a constant negotiation of what it means to be an audience member, particularly as it relates to feelings of complicity. What does it mean to laugh at a disarmingly human detail or a properly funny line when they’re embedded in stories about violence and coercion?"

Limelight magazine
Read the full review

★ "[Daughter] doesn’t offer new insights into the condition of modern masculine horror; it becomes an exercise in violence for the sake of violence. By giving this topic an un-interrogated, un-framed platform it is necessarily valorised and glorified as worthy, shipped in by Sydney Festival as a treat for us; an example of great and worthy international art... Please take good care of yourself while interacting with this show."

Time Out Sydney
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"Yes, the subject matter is intense. Grotesqueries and extraordinary experiences are Adam’s themes of choice. Yet he relays them in such a way, teasing his audience along. 'You’ve done that? You know exactly what I mean?' Then quickly singling out someone with a deliberate finger point or a look and making it clear we are all in on it. Been there done that. But we haven’t. I haven’t. I can’t even stomach the ideas. Who near me can? I wonder."

Sydney Arts Guide
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★★★ "Daughter will strike many as an unnecessarily hateful work of theatre. Or just unnecessary, period... Seldom, if ever, have I seen a performer willing to alienate an audience in this way and the seething climax to the show is shockingly powerful... 

"We’re accustomed to theatre shows that make us feel in some way bonded to our fellow audience members. Daughter is bracingly different. In the end, it’s just you and it, and when the lights come up, it feels less like the conclusion of a performance and more like the adjournment of a trial."

Audrey Journal
Read the full review

Final shows are 8.30pm Saturday 12 January and 2pm Sunday 13 January
$36-$41 + BF
Tickets and more info here

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