2014 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Fatherly (Sam S Mullins)

Fatherly is a touching tribute from one man to his dad playing at Toronto’s Next Stage Theatre Festival

Sam Mullins opened his new show Fatherly tonight as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival.

We were talking before the show and I was telling him that sometimes it’s hard to write a review about a show that I really like. I just want to write “I loved it. Go see it, it’s really good.”

This is one of those shows. Go see it. It’s lovely.

My editor is now frantically checking to see if there’s anything below the fold so…

Sam is a writer, humourist, and performer. He tells stories on stage. Fatherly is a departure from his other shows, Tinfoil Dinosaur and Weaksauce, which are autobiographical.

Fatherly is about his father – more or less. There aren’t many straight lines in Sam’s stories which is part of what makes them so appealing. He starts with Bill Mullins and ends with Bill Mullins and he gets from the beginning to the end via a washed-up baseball player who makes a spectacular comeback and a Texas firefighter who is a baseball fan.

He paints pictures with his words, it’s like listening to a radio play and being able to see what’s happening. His style is quite conversational, very natural, which I like. I feel as if he’s talking to me.

There are funny moments in Fatherly but the thing that will stay with me is how much Sam loves his father and how much his father loves him.  It’s a lovely, touching piece. I wasn’t the only person wiping away a tear or two.

I’m sure that Bill Mullins is very proud of his son.

Go see Fatherly, it’s lovely.


Photo of Sam S Mullins by Tanja Tiziana.