Writer Donna Rutherford on KIN, an exploration of parent-child relations
Change in family dynamics as children reach middle age
In a project started in 2010 as a collaboration between the CCA and NHS in Glasgow Clyde, ‘listening posts’ were placed in doctors’ waiting rooms, which played soundbites of conversations between parents and their older children. The snippets are taken from writer Donna Rutherford’s latest piece, KIN, which examines the change in family dynamics as children reach middle age. The hope was that the posts would prompt listeners to spark up conversations on topics, which had previously been ignored.
‘It’s looking at the unspoken and the unsaid, or the small things that are difficult to broach,’ says Rutherford.
Transferred to the stage, six actors, including Alison Peebles and members of theatre companies Quarantine, Reckless Sleep and Forced Entertainment, chat intimately with the audience about their family dynamics, with video clips interspersed depicting each of them spending time with their parents. Uncompromising and moving, but often drily funny, the play touches on themes of guilt, patience, acceptance and saying goodbye.
‘The irony is that this project hasn’t made me an expert,’ says Rutherford. ‘But it shows that time moves on and, inevitably, things change.’
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 10–Sat 12 Nov.