Sister, Ovalhouse - Review

© Ludovic Des Cognets

Every once in a while, a show will come along  that is not only ahead of the curve, it follows it's own trajectory. Such a show is Sister by Born Mad Theatre which is written and directed by Rebecca Hanbury. Utilising verbatim dialogue from nearly 50 women and girls from around the UK, these personal anecdotes are used as a starting point for a meditation on women's relationships and evolving into a transcendent ethereal soundscape.

Performed on stage by Daisy Brown and Nia Coleman, with music by Alex Groves, Sister begins  with the performers pouring water and drinking tea near microphones, amplifying the sound until its clarity reaches near Nth degree. As the first stream of dialogue regarding sisters takes place, it is sampled and repeated in a wholly different way.

The material sourced for the evening was very interesting, starting with childhood memories from children of many different backgrounds. At one of the spectrum there are tales about twins and the mischief they took delight in causing for their mother and a housefire one child caused by ignoring instruction to leave matches alone. Then there examples like Mira who was separated from her sisters for 15 years during the civil war in, Algeria or of the mixed race sisters - one darker than the other - who are always asked questions about "where are they from".

The impact of Groves' expansive electronic music on the show cannot be understated. Nor can Coleman and Brown's singing voices be adequately described.
Some shows are about understanding 'the message' and understanding a certain point of view. Sister is very much an event one experiences.

© Michael Davis 2016

Sister runs at Ovalhouse until10th September 2016.


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