ED2023 Reviews ED2023 Theatre Reviews

My Dad Wears A Dress (Maria Telnikoff)

By | Published on Monday 21 August 2023

Maria Telnikoff’s autobiographical one-woman show is a heartfelt story of acceptance and social pressures. Maria (who I’ll use for the character, Telnikoff for the performer) has a dad who is a trans woman. She loves her, but feels the need to deny her dad’s identity to maintain social currency at school. Telnikoff is cheery and breezy, dancing around the stage and donning outfits to denote Maria throughout her childhood. She manages to thread the needle of presenting Maria’s mortification not from her dad but from external parties’ misunderstandings. We too see Maria’s dad at the margins of the show, as if Telnikoff is keeping us away. It’s a smart move that subtly says the story of her dad’s identity is not Telnikoff’s to tell. The pacing means the show feels like it has mileage still to go, but it’s a sweet celebration of non-nuclear families.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Jones]