After the House Lights

The Darling Family at the Edmonton Fringe Festival


Emily Howard and Philip Geller. Photo credit: Vik Chu

The Darling Family by Linda Griffiths
August 11 – 15, 17 – 21 at Venue #35: Strathcona Community League

An interview with Philip Geller.

Describe your show in five words.

Raw, honest, delicate, tangled and vunerable

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

It’s about a young couple dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, they go through every thought, every option. It centres around their attempted and often failed communication.

The Darling Family has multiple directors – why was this something you wanted to experiment with and what does it add to the show?

Linda Griffiths wrote the show in a series of broken scenes shifting through time and space, while creating this piece we wanted to experiment with the from Linda provided so we enlisted four different directors to collaborate on different scenes. It was our goal to take this classic Canadian text and bring our own experimental and creative take on it, shaking up a regular creative process. As the script itself transitions between abstract and realism we were interested in getting different perspectives on these shifts. The result is a show told through different lenses where the characters and story remain the constant.

The two actors in the show – Philip Geller and Emily Howard – wanted to work on The Darling Family as soon as they read it. What is it about this show that was so engaging?

The honesty and simplicity of the writing spoke to a universal truth about communication in relationships. Upon reading the text you recognize yourself in every argument, conversation and thought. There is something so common and widespread in the interactions that you can’t help but feel you’re watching a part of yourself on stage.

The characters in The Darling Family are simply called He and She. Do you have any insight into why the playwright (Linda Griffiths) named her characters this way and how it contributes to the story the play tells?

As mentioned above the characters represent anyone and everyone dealing with a hard choice in a relationship. They are purposefully generic in that the show doesn’t revolve around the characters but rather their relationship and the decision that must be made.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Although it deals with a difficult topic, it’s dealt with in such gentle and delicate manner. The show is quiet and beautiful and a true piece of theatre that is a little outside of the normal fringe lineup but certainly worth checking out.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Get your tickets at