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The Perfect Immigrant review: Vibes and banter from an imperfect son

Dublin Fringe Festival 2022: ‘Poem plays’ provide tonal interludes to one-man confessional structure

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.

Runs at the New Theatre, Dublin 2, until Saturday, September 17th, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival

Sara Keating

Sara Keating

Sara Keating, a contributor to The Irish Times, is an arts and features writer