The Perfect Immigrant
The New Theatre
Levi has baggage. Arriving in Ireland to complete a master’s degree, he carries three battered suitcases stuffed to the brim with daddy issues. In Nigeria, a boy must respect his father, even when his father is punching him in the face. In Dublin, Levi must learn to be a man on his own terms.
Samuel Yakura, the writer and performer of The Perfect Immigrant, turns Levi’s sharp gaze upon the idiosyncrasies of his new home: the colloquialisms he can’t understand, the punishing public transport, Irish women’s preference for slagging over romance. As a Nigerian in Ireland, Levi is being constantly othered: his reciprocal othering of Irish culture is effective and funny.
Yakura uses original strategies for audience engagement in what he calls a “poem play”, calling on us to click our fingers in recognition and appreciation of the “vibes and banter” he delivers with charm. Four poems provide tonal interludes to the one-man confessional structure. These are only partially successful in theatrical terms, but they do allow Levi to reveal a deeper level of emotion, and to tell his father, finally, that he loves him.