ME AND MY SISTER TELL EACH OTHER EVERYTHING
14/09/2017 - 23/09/2017
My sister is amazing. She has it all together, great life and fantastic job – and she’s happy. So happy.
Fuck I hate her.
“Siblings are the longest and, often, closest relationship people have and I always thought it was weird people weren’t telling more stories about them. Our brothers and sisters know everything about us, they are the people who can help us best and, on the other hand, the people who can hurt us the worst. There’s a lot of drama in that. There’s a lot to say and we’re only scratching the funny, weird, sad surface.” – Writer & Director, Uther Dean
From My Accomplice who brought you Watch, A Play About Space and Joseph K, Me and My Sister Tell Each other Everything stars Freya Daly Sadgrove & Maria Williams and looks at that super special sibling bond you only share with those humans. No one else can understand – you know EVERYTHING about each other, the good, the bad and the ugly. (and the naked, drunk, stupid, sad and glorious)
Love and hate – Me And My Sister Tell Each Other Everything is a family-unfriendly new play about sibling relationships set to song and hubris.
BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
14-23 September 2017
BOOKINGS: www.bats.co.nz / 04 802 4175
Please note: This production contains extensive detailed discussion of suicide and suicide imagery.
Freya Daly Sadgrove & Maria Williams
Lighting Design & Technical Operation by Zoë Higgins
Sound & Music Design by: Oliver Devlin
Dramaturgy by: Hannah Banks
Publicity by: Brianne Kerr
Well-conceived, well executed, adventurous drama
Review by Tim Stevenson 15th Sep 2017
Something remarkable is going on at BATS Theatre at the moment. It’s a play called Me and My Sister Tell Each Other Everything, and it’s a no-holds-barred portrayal of the relationship between two sisters. It’s also an outstanding display of acting skill, courage and stamina from the two performers, Freya Daly Sadgrove and Maria Williams, and of dramatic mastery on the part of writer and director Uther Dean.
Jos and Murph are sisters. Murph, played by Sadgrove, is a wry, cynical, sloppy, mordantly funny indie musician who spends a lot of time on her own checking out Twitter and Tinder and feeling aimless. Jos, played by Williams, works in the hotel industry, is super tidy and organised, in a steady relationship with a guy who works at Fletcher’s, and likes to accentuate the positive. Jos and Murph are joined together by ancient sibling bonds, shared experiences, sense of humour and, as will become increasingly obvious during the play, love.
In terms of external events, the action of the play revolves around two episodes. One goes back to their childhood and involves a doll’s house. The other takes place in the present, and involves a crisis in Murph’s life which makes her reach out to Jos. At stake are two lives, both literally and in terms of ability to live authentically and joyfully.
While this gives you a reasonably adequate summary of what Me and My Sister Tell Each Other Everything is about, it doesn’t really capture the atmosphere of this production. The play starts lightly enough, with some scenes from childhood, some chat in a cafe, well observed, well presented, funny, sensitive. Then, it starts diving down much deeper, as Jos and Murph grapple verbally and physically with their joint crisis, ripping open old wounds, bashing their way through the lies and compromises in their lives, testing the truth to outer limits, confronting the worst that can happen.
It’s not often you see so much raw, visceral emotion acted out for such an extended period of time on stage like this, and it’s the sustained and convincing portrayal of such depths of emotion that really make this play stand out. (It’s shattering enough to watch, so it must be several times more so for Sadgrove and Williams, who are doing the acting.)
This is a production with multiple strengths, all of which deserve mention.
Strong, sensitive, moving, honest, brave, versatile performances from Sadgrove and Williams (see above for more about this); excellent individually, superlative in combination.
An inventive, courageous, uncompromising script by Dean. I particularly enjoy the way he throws pretty well any technique he can lay his hands on at his subject matter, provided it keeps the play moving along: humour – lots and lots of it – satire, song and dance, shock-horror, sentimentality, realism, non-realism, fantasy, poetry, a Lorde imitation, a musical about Amelia Earhart (‘Air/heart symbol!’). It would have been interesting if Dean had let his material run away with him more at times – the ending seems a bit tidy, for example – but overall, you’d never fault him for shying away from difficult material..
A polished, well realised production. It’s not always easy to tell how credit should be parcelled out between the director (in this case, Dean) and the cast and crew for shaping how a play is presented and given it unity on stage, but whoever did it, it works smoothly and successfully.
Well designed, well executed lighting (Zoe Higgins) and sound and music (Oliver Devlin).
Me and My Sister Tell Each Other Everything is not the play to go to if you are looking for diversion from the cares of life and maybe a cheerful tune you can hum as you’re driving back home. As the audience is well warned in advance, the play includes detailed discussion of, and portrayal of, suicide, including blood.
It most definitely is a play to go to if you’re looking for well-conceived, well executed, adventurous drama which shows what theatre can do when highly talented people get together and push the limits.
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