If you want to see real honesty on stage at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, then look no further than Jordan Waller’s autobiographical Son of Dyke, which has a limited run at Underbelly Cowgate. The show previously ran at The Vault Festival under a different name, and if anything more than the title has changed then it must have been for the better, because this is an uproariously hilarious piece of theatre with real heart at its core.
Jordan Waller was born to lesbian parents, and grew up himself to be gay, he calls this being super-gay indicating that the Daily Mail would have a field day with his particular story. When one of his birth mother dies, he feels a need to replace what’s missing in his life, and a change in legislation means he can now track down the sperm donor who was the third wheel in his conception story.
Waller’s delivery alternates from exuberance to droll observation, to heart wrenching tenderness. I’m sure I won’t be the first, or last to say that it’s like watching Kenneth Williams on stage (not that I was ever luck enough to do so). “I’m a modern man, I eat hummus and suck dick” declares Waller in just one of the toe curling hilarious one liners, that are designed to shock but tends to delight the audience.
The first half of Son of Dyke is packed full of this raunchy and close to the bone kind of humour, bit in Waller’s hands it doesn’t feel risqué at all, it’s just all wonderfully funny. The second half becomes more introspective as the true sense of loss becomes a heavier burden, and it genuinely feels like Waller is bearing his soul in its entirety.
All of the characters during this time of Waller’s life feature in Son of Dyke, and Waller portrays them all, pulling out distinct character traits. It’s a form of observational storytelling at its finest and means the audience becomes ever more invested in to the story he’s telling.
As touching and emotional as it is uproarious, Son of Dyke breaks the mold to portray the experiences of modern life in a completely unfiltered way.