Part theatre, part film, My Old Man is the story of old, blind, Polish soldier Michał and his Yorkshire-born granddaughter Tasha. It comes to Sheffield's Abbeydale Picture House on its premiere tour this November.
My Old Man focuses a working class family with Polish heritage, who are dealing with the fall-out from events over the past few years – rising hate crimes, Brexit, Trump, social mistrust. It’s about how most people are good people, but how we can be swayed by events or what we see on the news. It touches on identity, intergenerational relationships and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Created by theatre company Imagine If, My Old Man is the follow-up to their 2019 show Jadek, the semi-autobiographical story of its writer Chesca Cholewa. As Chesca puts it: “Poles are the largest group of foreign nationals, and Polish is England’s second language, but you wouldn’t know that from our theatre programming. There is scant representation of Poles in mainstream British entertainment. In My Old Man, we are rebalancing that, bringing to stage and screen fully rounded Polish characters, who struggle with their own traumas and position in contemporary Britain.”
My Old Man stars Paul Shelley as Michał and Imagine If’s artistic director Chesca Cholewa reprising her role as Tasha. Joining them is Lorraine Bruce (White Gold, The Syndicate) as Cathy, Liam Fox (Emmerdale) as Steve, William Fox (Peterloo) as Mark, Aaron Cobham (The Spanish Princess) as Alex, Amanda Gordon (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Chichester Festival Theatre and Duchess Theatre) as Gillian, and Anthony Taylor (Doctor Who) as Edward.
Deafblind UK will be providing audio description for the show.
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