Charley Miles
Paines Plough
ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall

Charlotte Bate and Charlotte O'Leary Credit: Rebecca Need-Menear

Pauline and Rachel are sisters. It is a very strained relationship. They struggle not to let their wounds and jealousies show. Vulnerability is lethal. This is the armor they wear.

But it wasn’t always that way. There was the day that nine-year-old Pauline was besotted with her new sister. But Pauline is privileged and responsible. Rachel is selfish and indulged. These are their swords.

Sisters. There is no other relationship like it. Sometimes they are very protective; empathetic, almost synergetic. This holds especially true with identical twins. With other sisters, and I would hazard most, it’s a battle just to be civil. It’s all wrapped up in their histories.

Rachel has breezed in at the peak of their father’s illness to take on the role of good sister and good daughter. But there is history which makes Pauline suspicious. “Why are you here?” She knows that Rachel is already out the door. They are armed.

And sadly they, like all sisters, want the relationship they cannot have.

The audience will see bits of themselves in both of these characters. The playwright, Charley Mills gives us snapshots of what was and what could have been. It’s hard to pick sides.

With a core of actors who work brilliantly together and under the very familiar, frenetic and elegant directing style of Stef O’Driscoll, Charlotte O’Leary and Charlotte Bate have found the perfect tango. Toyin Omari-Kinch must have such great fun playing boyfriends, friends, teacher and father. This is Paines Plough at its best. It never disappoints.

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm

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