Veenesh Dubois presents a semi autobiographical one-woman show about the letters exchanged between a father and daughter in Fiji and Canada.
Under the Mango Tree is about Timal, a girl who lives in a small village in Fiji with her father and grandparents. One day, her father leaves for Canada to seek a better life, promising that Timal will join him soon. What follows is the funny yet bittersweet story of a daughter’s love for her father.
Dubois is an impressive performer, and embodies many characters that bring her village to life. She’s especially good as the young Timal, as she becomes a completely believable child. However, I wish there had been one or two more performers. This show has a strong emotional core, and I feel like the message would be even stronger if Dubois had another performer to connect with onstage.
I did like that Timal’s father stays mysterious, since Under the Mango Tree is told from Timal’s point of view, who is very young when her father leaves. Therefore, the audience knows just about as much about Timal’s father as she does. Although he is technically the center of the plot, he remains almost a legend to the other characters and audience members alike. Using very view props and a bare set, Dubois also manages to create an image of life on the island. Overall, this was an enjoyable show that packs a surprising emotional punch at the end.