The Last of the Pelican Daughters
The Wardrobe Ensemble
Bristol-based The Wardrobe Ensemble has brought an earthy family drama to this year’s Fringe. The Last of the Pelican Daughters developed in association with Complicité is a compelling piece of theatre.
Following the death of their mother Rosemary, the four sisters of the Pelican family have gathered together to celebrate her birthday as they have done for years.
But there are tensions mounting as Storm has been looking after her mother for two and a half years and now wants recompense for all the time she has spent as her carer.
Rosemary’s will states that “the inheritance must be divided fairly between them” and here lies the problem. But will the daughters come to a mutually agreeable arrangement as each has her own plans on how to spend the money?
The sisters are a disparate bunch. Joy has been trying for a baby for years without success. Her lesbian sister Sage wants everyone to celebrate Rosemary’s life and pregnant Maya want to continue travelling with her hippy life partner Jojo.
The cast superbly create their characters, each one also playing the mother by wearing her red dress and Granny is represented bizarrely as a skeleton in a wheelchair—whimsical or what?
The influences of Complicité’s style are strongly evident and give the production a vitality and energy that the company has embraced with relish in a rollercoaster ride of emotions with much comedy.
The arrival of their solicitor brings a whole new dimension to their plans. But despite their differences the family bond remains strong. You’re a Pelican, not a Peli-can’t.
With an impressive set, emotive soundtrack and striking lighting, this is a highly enjoyable production that richly deserved the audience’s enthusiastic applause. Catch it if you can.
Reviewer: Robin Strapp