Good Timin'

Good Timin’ is Ian Mclaughlin’s personal story about his search to find a connection with his long-lost father. Along the way, he discusses the science of nature vs. nurture, growing up in 1970s Washington, Tyne and Wear, and his quiet obsession with Doctor Who.

A polished and intriguing personal tale about one man’s search for his place in his family and in the world.

The shelves onstage are covered with boxes and various ephemera. Mclaughlin comes on reading a magazine about behavioural genetics, but soon dismisses it as too complex. He brings up the idea of an inherited personality and then goes into his story. At 16, his mother was a tea-girl who would bring his father, 22 and in accounts, an afternoon cup of tea and a Penguin. As far as his grandparents were concerned, however, Ian’s father was the devil incarnate. The relationship was forbidden, but a few months later, it became obvious that Ian’s mother was pregnant.

The story is told with gentle humour and some lovely anecdotes, like that Ian’s mother wanted to call him ‘Elvis’ right up until the day of his christening, when her parents made the decision to call him ‘Ian’ instead. Mclaughlin is fast-talking and charismatic. To assist with the storytelling, images are projected onstage and we see pictures of Mclaughlin’s family, his town and other pieces of his personal history. Film is also used to animate some of the scenes and ideas Mclaughlin explores.

This is an emotional and personal tale, but sometimes it feels like the script and direction is leading Mclaughlin away from expressing his full feelings about his life. Whilst the ending is touching, many of the supposedly shocking aspects of the story didn’t have the emotional impact one might expect.

Nevertheless, this is a polished and intriguing personal tale about one man’s search for his place in his family and in the world. 

Reviews by Jenny Williams

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The Blurb

A one man show about one man’s journey to find another man. Actually, it’s a two man show with one man missing and two different endings. Join writer/performer Ian Mclaughlin as he asks if there’s more than DNA linking him to his missing father? He discovers amazing parallels between their lives and personalities that make him question the very nature of nurture itself. Part personal testimony, part stand-up and part science, Good Timin’ questions how much we really pass on to our children and how things we keep from them can have a profound effect on their lives.