Never have I seen an audience so quickly break into rapturous applause as I did at Matthew Zajac’s The Tailor of Inverness. The one-man play, also starring Zajac, is a powerfully emotional tale of his father’s journey of displacement and disruption throughout the second world war, and one of growth and discovery after its conclusion.
The high energy performance of Zajac was superb, interspersing his own natural Scottish dialect with his father’s Eastern European with ease. Throughout the performance, the clarity of the story in his mind was paramount, and his determination to share it pivotal.
Whilst some of the projections seemed disjointed and distracting, a superb piece of theatre was created of the train tracks thundering into the distance whilst Zajac repeatedly spun a clothing rail around and around as he travelled from Soviet Russia in search of the Polish army.
Arguably slightly long – even at 75 minutes – this was a fantastic evening in which one man was able to share the story of his father, a man he immensely cared for, sharing recordings of letters he himself had sent in an open baring of his soul. Yet Zajac, and director Ben Harrison, realise that this is not a microscopic autobiography, but a story that should be shared to celebrate the fact that everybody comes from somewhere else.