Stuck With You

Jessica Lovett
Graeae Theatre Company
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Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Sarah and Alexandra James as Albi Credit: Graeae

The last of Graeae’s current Crips Without Constraints series presents two sisters: lesbian Sarah (played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster) and Albi (Alexandra James), who is somewhat younger and, as the audio description and captioning tell us, is deaf.

It seems that they haven’t been as close as they could be, both always thought the other preferred third sibling Emma who died two years ago, but Albi has been talked into journeying cross-country to be maid of honour at Sarah’s wedding to Kelly. Now Albi has shut herself in Sarah’s bathroom and locked the door as she tries on the bridesmaid dress that has been bought for her. Sarah resorts to ringing Abi's mobile to carry on a conversation.

Cleverly getting round the problems of lockdown, shooting on mobile phones in different locations, Albi, who is obviously adept at lip-reading, is in the bathroom knocking back Prosecco while Sarah slumps down on the floor outside the locked door.

It is an interesting snapshot of family tensions and jealousies played with spontaneity that reveals disappointed ambitions and insecurities that ring very true to experience but this is an exchange with a positive edge.

Lockdown has emphasised how much contact means to us and the importance of keeping in touch and that comes through here strongly as does the affection underlying the superficial bitchiness that serves as self-protection.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton