The Weird Sisters

Aug 10 2022 | By More

★★★★☆     Special stuff

theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39): Sat 6 – Fri 26 Aug 2022 (even dates only)
Review by Hugh Simpson

A tight production, beautifully acted, makes The Weird Sisters, from BUFF and New Celts at theSpace on the Mile, an enticing prospect.

Ian Dunn’s black comedy deals with three sisters who are the last remaining descendants of a matriarchal Highlands tribe, and whose desire for self-control, self-sufficiency and living off the land can include some unusual dietary requirements. Their seclusion is threatened when a couple from the city stumble across them.

A scene from The Weird Sisters. Pic DUFF

The ideas in Dunn’s script fizz off in all directions, including ruminations on patriarchy, the environment and the mendacity of the political establishment. This is all contained in a beautifully structured piece, drip-feeding information at just the right pace and making good use of flashback.

Dunn’s direction also makes good use of a talented cast, and there is a real ensemble feel to this piece. The three sisters are cleverly differentiated – Margaret (Chloe Murphy), determined to preserve tradition, Janet (Alex Paton), perhaps just a little too keen to return to more bloodthirsty ways, and Helen (Rachel Millar), eager to see what the outside world has to offer.

All three impress in different ways, with Murphy’s bristling insistence and Millar’s yearning for another life very well done. Paton, meanwhile, displays tremendous timing, evoking humour from the darkest of impulses.

Such timing is also shared by Craig Waters as city boy Nick, able to convey a great deal from a gesture or glance. Kelsey Christie-Whelan, meanwhile, gives considerable life to two roles, including some ‘drunk’ acting of rare quality.

The rapport between the cast means that there is a tautness and drive to what could appear quite silly. Instead, it all seems to make perfect sense, with even the title’s reference to the Scottish play (or is it Harry Potter?) being forgivable. At any rate, this comes highly recommended.

Running time 1 hour 5 minutes (no interval)
TheSpace on the Mile (Space 3), 80 High St, EH1 1TH (Venue 39)
Saturday 6 – Friday 26 August 2022 (even dates only)
Even dates only at 2.00 pm
Information and tickets: Book here.

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