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Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter

by Beverley Haun

The Lakefield Literary Festival has many spices in its feast this summer. One of the tastiest will be the one woman play, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, written and performed by Alison Wearing on Saturday, July 12 at 2:30 p.m. in the Bryan Jones Theatre at Lakefield College. Alison performed Confessions last summer to sold out crowds in Peterborough. Her show this year will be an opportunity for those who missed it last time and those who enjoyed it so much they want to see it again.

Alison and her brothers grew up in Peterborough in the 1980s in an academic household immersed in the arts and politics. It was not an unusual household at all! For example, favourite childhood activities could be extended for whichever child could recite the Canadian prime ministers the fastest. Loot bags for one of her early birthday parties contained homemade cassettes of a Mozart wind quintet. It felt to Alison like a normal childhood filled with music, laughter and love until, when she was twelve, her father took an apartment in Toronto and commuted to Trent to teach. Confused by this change in their domestic arrangements, Alison asked her mother about the reasons and discovered her father was gay.

As Alison explains, there was no social space, not even an acceptable vocabulary from which to navigate and come to terms with this revelation. But Alison’s father Joe did not abandon his family. As he began to realize his true nature he embraced his new life, but was also determined to remain a devoted father. Alison spent the next few years commuting between her father in Toronto and her life in Peterborough with her mother. With this unusual-for-the-time background, Alison moved into adulthood and became an accomplished and acclaimed writer, actor musician and dancer. In recent years, as she reflected on her childhood and began to write about it, she was given a box by her father that contained his writings about his own journey through his own awakening into an understanding of his gayness. As she describes it, “Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is also the story of “coming out” as the daughter of a gay father.”

Just look at the kind of responses Alison Wearing has had to her one woman show. It sounds irresistible!

“Occasionally, one encounters a fringe festival show that succeeds absolutely. Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is such a show...The show works beautifully on all levels. Wearing is a skilled actress who commands our attention. Her script is tightly written, cleverly constructed and highly literate ~ Times Colonist

“I would have sobbed loudly, but I’m too damn manly, so I just grunted and choked... ~ George Straight

“This is an extraordinarily moving story, well-crafted and compassionately told. See it now before it sells out.” ~ CBC

July 12 2014, 2:30pm Bryan Jones Theatre, Lakefield College School. Tickets available online at www.fieldliteraryfestival,com

Alison Wearing’s books, Confessions’s of a Fairy’s Daughter and Honeymoon in Purdah are available at Happenstance Books and Yarn.

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