Lowry review: One man and his dad and the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s

  • Award-winning writer and performer Sam Brady brings his new one-man play to The Lowry with characteristic warmth, humour and charm
  • Northern Quota reporter Jess Stoddard reviews this poignant look at a family's response to Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s is something that touches us all in one way or another, whether affecting a family member or a friend. It’s a very prominent problem in our daily lives.

Things I Say When I Don’t Say I Love You is a celebration of memories, of families coming together when most needed, and of love.

When his dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Ian decides to help him fulfil his dream to restore a classic car. Ian’s wayward son gets roped in, too. But amid stripped engines, rusted metal and frayed tempers, the three men discover that piecing together the past can have unexpected consequences.

Brady plays all the roles within Ian’s life – from the nosey neighbour nicknamed Turtle-Wax, to his 18 year-old rebellious son. Through story telling and incredible characterisation, he also morphs into the two women in his life, Angela and Jenny. Brady gets the characteristics of a wine-drunk, middle-aged woman perfectly.

Using a simple set, a table becomes the car itself, and there’s a tremendously funny scene where Latin music in the background encourages Brady to thrust as he fixes the car.

A performance with high and low parts, Brady ends on a tear-jerking moment where the audience are holding back the sobs.