Theatre review: That’s Life on Lisgar

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: “Hello beautiful ­people.” With a wide smile and ­sparkling eyes, Kayla ­Subica welcomes us with a warmth that anyone who knows the many “Little ­Portugals” around the world will be familiar with.

C venues – C royale (Venue 6)

***

In her one-woman show, she tells the real-life story of how she was reunited with her estranged gran – but ­really this is just a means for a ­broader celebration of her larger-than-life, gregarious ­Portuguese-Canadian ­family in Little Portugal, Toronto.

Subica paints a vivid picture of a world full of straight-talking women, ever-ready with acerbic criticism from behind the ubiquitous coffee table – a community where neighbours live in their ­foyers or windows, and the phrase “dress nice” is not so much a lifestyle choice but a way of life.

Both the appeal and frustrations of close-knit family life shine through in Subica’s lovingly written and ­skilfully performed script, as she smoothly shifts between the well-defined characters. The story could be tightened up to have more shape, but over the course of an hour, it’s as much of a treat to spend time with our amiable narrator and her relations, as it is to eat one of the pastel de nata custard tarts, from local bakery Casa Amiga, at the end.

Until 28 August.