Michael Melski’s Canadian hit play Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad gets its European premiere in a new production directed by Proud Haddock’s Jimmy Walters. It has a limited four-week limited season at London’s Finborough Theatre, running from 31 March to 25 April 2020, with press nights on 2 and 3 April. Time to get booking!
Love in the bleachers. Blood on the ice. The usual small-town affair.
Teddy and Donner are two lonely working-class single parents who meet at their children’s minor league ice-hockey match. Teddy is competitive, over-dominating and believes that winning is everything, while Donner is just happy that her son is in the team enjoying himself.
Sitting together over the course of the season, they find themselves growing ever closer together, until an explosive event makes them realise that passion and violence don’t just happen on the ice… A tender, uproarious, and sometimes disturbing story about competitive obsession and what it means to be a (single) parent.
Written by Canadian playwright, screenwriter and director Michael Melski, Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad premiered in 2003 at Toronto’s Factory Theatre, where it was nominated for a Merritt Award and the Dora Mavor Moore Award (Toronto’s equivalent of the Oliviers) and named one of the ‘Top Ten Plays of the Year’ by the Toronto Star. It has since then toured Canada twice, and received over forty professional productions, including several in the United States. This production marks its European premiere.
This European premiere of Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad is presented by Proud Haddock in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough. It’s directed by Proud Haddock artistic director Jimmy Walters, returning to the Finborough after previous acclaimed reclamations of Tony Harrison‘s Square Rounds and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus as well as A Subject of Scandal and Concern.
Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad also marks another Canadian import for Jimmy Walters and Proud Haddock, whose production of John Gray and Eric Petersen‘s 1978 Canadian play with music Billy Bishop Goes to War, about the World War One flying ace, transferred to Southwark Playhouse last year after its initial run at Jermyn Street Theatre. The company’s other hits in recent years have included Mrs Orwell and The Dog Beneath the Skin.
What the critics say
What have Canadian critics said about Michael Melski‘s two-hander Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad?
“Great double act shoots and scores” – Globe and Mail
“This poignant, involving play takes a simple love story between ordinary people and transforms it into something quite wonderful” – Edmonton Sun
“A winner…This show is much more about the game of love than the game of hockey, but Melski doesn’t spare the barbs when it comes to showing the beastly behaviour of overly-serious hockey parents” – Star Phoenix
“Melski scores big with Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad” – Chronicle Herald
“Michael Melski writes like people talk and if that isn’t a definition of good dialogue then I don’t know what is” – Toronto Star
“Charm, humour and performing skill…Michael Melski’s Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad has these qualities, plus a setting that’s commonplace in the outside world but unusual to the point of being exotic in the theatre – a double recommendation” – National Post
“A sweet, theatrical romance. It’s also a fisticuffs and fun-filled celebration of Canada’s national sport cum obsession… Melski’s out-of-the-ordinary setting gives the play a unique vantage point to make some serious – but balanced – commentary about violence in Canada’s beloved national sport, as well as between men and women” – See
Playwright Michael Melski is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker whose works for the stage have been published and produced across Canada. His plays include The Fly Fishers Companion, Creepy and Little Mansion, Caribou, Joyride, Miles From Home, Eighteen and Corvette Crossing. Michael is also an acclaimed screenwriter and director of feature films including Growing Up starring Rosanna Arquette, Charlie Zone, and The Child Remains which won sixteen Best Feature prizes on the global festival circuit and was released theatrically in the United States in June 2019. Michael has been an Artist-In-Residence at the Shaw Festival, Neptune Theatre and Eastern Front Theatre. He currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Director Jimmy Walters returns to the Finborough Theatre following his acclaimed productions of two plays by Tony Harrison – Square Rounds and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus – as well as John Osborne’s A Subject of Scandal and Concern. Other direction includes Billy Bishop Goes To War and The Dog Beneath The Skin (Jermyn Street Theatre), Mrs Orwell (Southwark Playhouse), Julius Caesar (Saatchi Gallery), A Naughty Night With Noël Coward (Old Red Lion Theatre) Improbable Fiction (Courtyard Theatre), Hamlet (Bedouin Shakespeare Company), I the Jury (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Breaded Butler (Troubadour) and Dear Ray (Edinburgh Festival). Assistant Direction includes Young Shakespeare Company tours of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet (Bloomsbury Theatre), Othello (Riverside Studios) and Knock Yourself Out (Courtyard Theatre).