Reviewed by Kirtey Verma
It’s a Family Affair (We’ll Settle It Ourselves) is an outrageous comedy with the perfect cast. As the play starts, the audience is immediately transported into the slightly chaotic, extremely ridiculous wonderland that is 19th century Russia.
Originally written by Alexander Ostrovsky in 1849, the controversial satire on Moscow’s nouveau riche quickly gained notoriety by joining history’s list of banned literature. However, the director, Roisin McBrinn, succeeds in adapting Ostrovsky’s masterpiece. She successfully highlights the uncomfortable position of the crude nouveau riche between the affluent nobility and hard-working peasants with a unique modern twist.
The play follows the comedic misfortunes and inevitable fall of the rich merchant, Bolshov. Facing numerous debts and the provision of his bratty daughter’s dowry, Bolshov declares himself as bankrupt and proceeds to give away his entire property to his seemingly trustworthy protégé, Lazar. However, what initially seems to be a foolproof plan quickly establishes itself as ridiculous. In his fraudulent society, it would be a foolish thing to trust anybody, especially family.
With a spectacular cast, including stunning breakout performances from Rachel Redford and Gareth Tempest as the spoiled daughter and long-suffering servant, It’s A Family Affair… proves to be a funny, thought-provoking night away from revision!