Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Theatre Review - Little Fish

Published on Running In Heels, here.

Sarah-Lisa Wilkinson's new play at The Space, shortlisted for the Old Vic New Voices Award last year, depicts a young family trying to come to terms with their tragic family history.

Cici (Helen Clapp) and Jamie (Damian Cooper) are twins who live together in the family home. Their mother has passed away some months before.

They are joined one stormy night by older sister Claire (Lucy Laing) who they have not seen since she became famous after having sex on a Big Brother-type television show.

Drunk and high on drugs, Claire is the definitive celebrity gone bad and her presence disturbs the twins. Particularly troubling is that although she has spilled her out to gossip magazines, she refuses to talk to her sister about her feelings so instead they fizz just beneath the surface.

As a member of the audience sitting in the Round, you feel drawn into the lives of the three siblings to an almost unbearable degree.

 The tension is palpable. So much so that when Jamie throws a fit of rage throwing sheets of paper around, it feels almost paranormal. 

Just like the dark fairy tales Cici makes up, what is really going on in this multi-layered plot is revealed gradually, until you realise - this play is fundamentally about grief.

Grief haunts each sister. One turns in on herself, finding refuge in her imagination and the family home. The other turns to the outside world and seeks comfort within the confines of an altogether different house.

With fantastic performances from the young cast, this is a story that captivates you from beginning to end.

Little Fish is an intriguing play, simple on the surface but touching on big and thought provoking themes. (Photo: White With Two Sugars)

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