Unfamiliar at Home embraces the new digital landscape to break down traditional performance boundaries as Victor Esses and Yorgos Petrou share their autobiographical piece from their home direct to audiences’ own. This intimate and moving production combines Victor’s theatre and performance making techniques with Yorgos’ background as a visual artist. Unfamiliar is a product of them working together, to explore how they can expand their family. 

Victor and Yorgos want to have children. They think. Maybe? Yes! Unfamiliar uses familiar household objects and confessional text to play with language and movement as it interrogates domesticity. They share a meal as a pre-recorded conversation talks about what a family consists of for them, they listen to interviews with members of queer families, and they speak of the unsolicited advice they received about becoming parents. As Yorgos and Victor explore their memories, fears and relationship, they reclaim the term family and build themselves the role models that they missed out on as they grew up. 

Beautifully intimate, full of gentle humour and tender moments, Unfamiliar is a stripped back autobiographical piece about being queer, wanting children and, ultimately, the human desire to create a legacy. Presented in association with theatres across the UK, this online tour will be performed live for audiences on Zoom each night as Unfamiliar at Home. 

Victor Esses and Yorgos Petrou comment, Unfamiliar at Home is the natural progression for our stage piece Unfamiliar: we took the domestic into the performance space, now we bring the performance into the domestic. It’s an exciting thing to bring the audience on a journey with us in our real home, to make something so comfortable to us become strange and unfamiliar. It allows us to explore the feelings, the unsaid, the hard to communicate stuff that surfaces in and occupies our home in this quest to get ready to become dads. It feels like an important moment to touch on choice and to empower ourselves to believe that we are deserving, especially at a time of crisis and struggle. 

Unfamiliar was developed in residencies at Battersea Arts Centre, The Pleasance, The Marlborough, Applecart Arts and The Finnish Institute London. It was selected for Brighton Dome’s The Works where it received dramaturgical support. Since then, it has received funding from ACE and the High Commission of Cyprus (UK) to be developed into an online performance. 

Frank, intimate […] layered and highly emotional (Camden New Journal). 

© All images are copyright Yorgos Petrou. Texts copyright the respective authors.