My Sister Feather is both exploration and interrogation of the filial bond between two sisters. There’s beauty in playwright, Olivia Satchell’s brutality, as layers of guilt and obligation are inexorably stripped away from Egg (Emily Tomlins) and Tilly (Belinda McClory) as they reunite under the anonymous CCTV eye of a prison camera. Tilly is visiting Egg and while they negotiate an awkward present, we’re allowed glimpses of them in what is – initially at least – a more amicable past.
Balance is everywhere, from script, performance, to the staging as well. Olivia has placed the audience in traverse, which has the effect of having one side of them watching the play with the other side behind the action looking down. It creates a sense of sitting in judgement, just as Egg and Tilly are in some ways judging themselves what’s left now to keep them together.
Some writer/directors can be too protective of their words on the page, but here it’s obvious throughout what’s most important is the storytelling. Nothing is rushed from Emily or Belinda. Both take the time they need as their characters attempt to deal with the spectre of abandonment and what happens in the aftermath. There’s as much heft in the silences as there are in the words and Emily and Belinda give wonderful performances. Get to it!
The La Mama Theatre on Faraday Street was gutted by fire on Saturday 19 May 2018. For information on how best to support their recovery efforts, visit: www.lamama.com.au for details.
my sister feather
La Mama Courthouse – 349 Drummond St, Carlton
Performance: Thursday 31 May 2018 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 10 June 2018
For more information, visit: www.thevoiceinmyhands.com for details.
Image: Belinda McClory (Tilly) and Emily Tomlins (Egg) in my sister feather – photo by Sarah Walker
Review: David Collins