REVIEW: Sister, Oval House Theatre

Memories and stories from women in a mixed production exploring the different relationships that exist through sisters. 

Sister, Born Mad,  Ovalhouse, Copyright Ludovic Des Cognets (1).jpg
Sister, Born Mad at Oval House Theatre. (c)Ludovic Des Cognets. 

Based on interviews featuring nearly 50 women and girls, Sister is a unique piece of work exploring our very individual and at times frustrating relationships with our families.

Rebecca Hanbury (who also directs) and Alex Groves (composer) has created a deeply personal work in a very creative way – but which feels a little bit lack in heart and soul that endears the audience to what is being told.

From the second the audience steps into the auditorium, there is clearly a sense that you are about to see something that you have never seen before. The set is comprised of tables pushed together, surrounded by microphones and trays filled with objects to recreate sound effects at different points, recreating memories more vividly.

Ideas such as this work for part of the time in this hour long show, but it does become increasingly wearisome as does the musical interludes which break into the stories and the audience’s concentration for seemingly little purpose.

However, the selection of stories that have been pieced together have been selected well. From young children’s experiences of sharing baths to snuggling up in bed together, gradually growing in intensity with stories of grief and terror also coming into play. The main aim of sister seems to be that no matter what your family is your strongest bond that you are likely to have in this lifetime.

Nia Coleman and Daisy Brown are sharp and focused in their performances, but because of the variety of characters (the constant switching is slightly bewildering) that they are playing it is difficult to really appreciate the hard work and dedication that they have put into the roles.

Sadly, it is a difficult piece to truly enjoy as it seems to have too many ideas thrown at it with no clear direction that it becomes increasingly frustrating to watch. There is no doubting that the intention was good, but the end result just felt messy.

Sister is playing at the Ovalhouse Theatre until the 10th September. For more information and to book tickets visit:

Rating: ❤❤

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