Danny Braverman allows audiences to hear his family’s fascinating history – told through drawings that his Great Uncle Ab drew consistently throughout his life on his wage packets. The drawings featured him, his wife Celie and soon his sons as well.
Throughout there is a wonderfully confidential nature to the show, making the audience feel as though they are privileged to hear what is the most personal thing of all: a family’s history.
It is fascinating to watch how Uncle Ab’s work developed over the years from simple drawings as he and Celie got married and had children, to progressing to using colour when he retired and had more time. But it also gives an insight into his feelings and emotions during certain periods in his life – such as going to visit one of his sons in a psychiatric hospital or when his beloved Celie was diagnosed with cancer which is very moving.
Bravermen tells the story in a wonderfully good natured way, explaining how he has interpreted the pictures and in later images how they fitted in with his own life. While for the majority of the show there is a good flow, the story loses its thread in places and can come across as slightly self-indulgent at times.
The main strength is the way in which he describes his family members, helping to bring them to life again alongside the extraordinary drawings that we are shown and the audience can’t help but be drawn into the story and care about what happens to Great Uncle Ab and Celie.
A wonderfully warm and tender look into family life and leaves us wanting to understand our own families a lot more as well.
*Note: if you do go and see this, there is also an exhibition of Great Uncle Abs’s drawings close by that you can also go and visit if you are interested.