Unfamiliar at home

Fri 20 November

Unfamiliar at Home

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Nominated for the Lukas Award 2019.

What is a family? Where does it come from? Can we make our own?

Victor and Yorgos recently made some big plans, and they don’t know if they are ready for them. One is to create a performance together, the other is to have a baby…

An adaptation of their piece Unfamiliar, Unfamiliar at Home is performed in the artists’ home, on Zoom. This tender autobiographical performance combines text, movement and found objects to explore family, wanting children and being queer today. What do we need to do to live the life we always wanted?

Nominated for LUKAS Awards 2019 and shortlisted for Zealous Stories: Performance Prize.
Frank, intimate, layered and highly emotional – Camden New Journal
Inspiring – The Protagonist Magazine

Developed at Battersea Arts Centre, The Pleasance, The Marlborough, Applecart Arts and Finnish Institute London. It was selected by Brighton Dome’s The Works where it received dramaturgical support, scratched at The Basement and Barbican Centre as part of Fertility Fest. It is kindly supported by Arts Council England and High Commission of Cyprus in the UK.


Click here to download the show programme.


About the artists

Victor Esses

Victor Esses is a theatre and performance maker and a live artist. He is interested in participation, autobiographical material, storytelling and multimedia as ways to investigate belonging, human connection, and overcoming. He is Associate Artist to CASA Festival. Performance/Maker credits include Where to Belong (Rich Mix, Summerhall, UK tour, shortlisted for Emerge Performance Prize and Sit Up Awards), Sound of Us (Vilnius, Tallin Larp Festival, Theatre Deli), Dis Place (CPT, Arts Admin, Latitude Festival) and Codependently Yours (Arcola Theatre, VFD, Albany, ACE supported). Directing includes: Venus Flytrap (Theatre503, performed by Jonny Woo), Tapped Out! (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Assault (Old Red Lion Theatre) and The Last Days of Gilda (Arcola Theatre, shortlisted for Brazil Focus Award. Performing includes: Tunguska Event – History Marches on a Table (Whitechapel Gallery), Trojan Horse, Rainbow Flag (film by artist Ian Giles) and Faraway, So Close (Old Fire Station).

Yorgos Petrou

Yorgos Petrou is a visual artist who works with photography, video, sculpture, and performance. His practice examines the human body physically, emotionally, and politically and how it can become a site of individuality and empowerment, trauma and dichotomy. Shows include Bloomberg New Contemporaries ICA, London; Royal Society Summer Exhibition at Southbank Centre, supported by the Wellcome Trust; Identalterity, 5th Biennale of Thessaloniki; Freud and Eros, Freud Museum London; Shorts at Oxford, Modern Art Oxford; Jonny, Insitu Space for Contemporary Art Berlin; Wolstenholme Creative Space, Independents Liverpool Biennial; Motherless Beautiful, British Museum London; Planétes, Cultural Capital of Europe Pafos; Pivo Research, Pivo São Paulo; Unfamiliar, The Pitt Barbican Centre London and Battersea Arts Centre London; Occupy and Echo (a stage), Reading Room Melbourne.


“…layered and highly emotional. […] If the title is a take on the process of setting up a family in a world still hostile to gay parenting, their 60-minute performance art piece makes imaginative use of their diverse props to reveal how they agonised over parenthood. They are frank, intimate and emotional.”

Camden New Journal

“Unfamiliar,” a debut theatre piece written and performed by Victor Esses and Yorgos Petrou, is a frank autobiographical performance exploring what a family is, where it comes from and dealing with the essential question “Can we make our own?” […] we get more and more drawn into the exploration of the two protagonists. At the same time we are reflecting on own thoughts and experiences with regards to creating a family – an inspiring starting point for an exchange of ideas after the show.”

The Protagonist Magazine