My Sister Feather
A woman with eyes as bright as her no-brand turquoise track suit enters the stage with a sullen look on her face; quietly as if she doesn’t want anyone to notice she’s there. She checks if she can glean anything from the out-of-order vending machine. She defiantly plonks herself on the bolted-down table in the middle of the room. An ear-piercing beep blasts until she slides nonchalantly onto a chair. Egg, as she is called, is in prison.
Her sister Tilly enters in a flurry, babbling about anything from beetroot to exercise. There is a comic contrast between how the two sisters handle the awkward situation. Finally, Tilly says what she really came to tell Egg. Slowly, through sharing childhood memories, the two sisters open up. Flashback scenes to their childhood games and a good dash of sarcasm provide comic relief as their intense journey unfolds. They explore who is to blame for their traumatic childhood, and who they have both become. They haven’t seen each other in decades.
Writer/Director Olivia Satchell has created a touching exploration of sibling love, and what it would take to sever that bond. Emily Tomlins and Belinda McClory as estranged sisters Egg and Tilly give stunning performances, expertly capturing the essence of childhood and the scars it leaves on us as adults. It was my first time attending a show at La Mama. With its proud history of fostering and supporting great Australian talent (Cate Blanchett and Judith Lucy among their alumni), my expectations were high and I was not disappointed.
Never was there a better time to support La Mama; their other venue, La Mama Theatre, was destroyed in a fire in May 2018. They’re raising funds to relocate the shows scheduled for that venue and there will be a rebuilding fund set up soon (http://lamama.com.au/supportlamama). You can also support them, and treat yourself to wonderful local theatre, by getting along to see My Sister Feather.
Photographer: Sarah Walker.