Sister Acts

On the whole, the show was quite amateur and left a lot to be desired. Premise: A two woman cabaret charting the life of two sisters who livetogether in England and their transsexual and immigrant experiences. Apartfrom that, things were very murky and unclear - it’s even hard to tell ifthey’re sisters in the blood or colloquial sense. One of the sisters isAmerican, the other Nigerian. I was uncertain if one or two of thecharacters were supposed to be transsexuals and some of the developmentswere just downright bizarre. The Nigerian is mysteriously crippled aroundhalfway through and at the mercy of her cruel sister for medication. Atanother interval she’s possessed and entirely cured of her ailments.

The most lucid and entertaining section involved a fight over a cute andlusty guy accompanied by a song. In fact, the whole thing is sprinkled withsong and dance in which the ladies certainly exhibited some talent andenergy. They weren’t always on key though, and sometimes the songs feltquite thrown together and unprofessional.

Some parts, uncomfortably, verged on trans-phobic and racist. The Nigeriankept calling her ‘sister’ a tranny and she, in turn, was made fun of forbeing Nigerian. At one interval she uses skin whitening cream - a movewhich is only cursorily mentioned. There was undeniably a facetious elementto all of this, but it was hard to detect the line between what wasoffensive and what was holding up a mirror – effective satire would havemade that clearer and not left me feeling unsettled. Certain parts werefunny but they didn’t always manage to maintain their position on the‘laugh with them’ side of the comic fence.

The costumes continually changed and some of them were quite spectacular.There was a great African dress and headpiece and the American characterwore a sexy black number which showcased her transitioned body beautifully.Some of the choices were just downright absurd though – superwoman costumeand rollerskates case and point (it seemed as though she was going to fallover at any moment). Highlight: The American sister grabbed an incredibly rude, drunk andannoying audience member by the face and brought her to the floor. Itgenuinely made my night and respect to her for taking control of thesituation.

The Blurb

“SISTER ACTS”, the record breaking box-office SMASH of the RVT’s 2012 Hot August Fringe, is a journey into the various acts of sisterhood, the bonds that bring sisters together and the cogs that tear them apart. A tale of Affection, Deception and Protection that will make you laugh till it hurts and sometimes, wanna kill somebody.