This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

Three, as the song goes, is a magic number. From Three Little Pigs to the three wishes in Aladdin, the number between two and four has particular appeal in the stories, myths and fairytales we tell ourselves, in order to explain the world. So, it's no fluke that the core of Finnegan Kruckemeyer's fairytale-styled play This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (touring Scotland in this new production from Stellar Quines) are triplets.

Kruckemeyer’s understanding and use of the grammar of fairytales and childhood play is enchanting.

Thrice upon a time, their story starts like Hansel and Gretel, abandoned deep in the forest, but quickly becomes about how each grows, matures and becomes comfortable in their own skin. Kruckemeyer's focus is on how, although looking almost identical, the three girls are very much their own selves, and respond to the world accordingly. Eldest triplet Albienne (Rehanna MacDonald) sets off towards the sunset, becoming Viking killer and much-loved baker; middle girl Beatrix (Kim Allan) aims for the sunrise, bringing colour and fun into otherwise grey lives; and youngest Carmen (Betty Valencia) stays put, becoming the perfect host.

Each young actor is bold and heartfelt in their characters. The only visual differences between them are the colours of their striped socks. However, in this energetic production by Jemima Levick for Stellar Quines, there is no confusion or doubt, as we're told the triplet's individual stories in turn, with never a pause. Great support comes from Ewan Somers, who plays the triplet’s father and numerous other supporting roles when not acting as narrator – although it's important to point out that these three girls are as much the narrators of each other's lives as he is.

Jean Chan's set is appropriately a nursery of toys, boxes and books on shelves, which becomes a succession of landscapes as and when required. As a work of theatre, the script can be accused of leaning towards "tell" rather more than "show," but Kruckemeyer’s understanding and use of the grammar of fairytales and childhood play is enchanting and ensures that this heart-warming story of self-realisation feels shorter than its 70 minutes running time.

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn

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Performances

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The Blurb

What happens when your world is turned upside down and you have to find your own way? On a dark and cold night, triplet sisters are abandoned in a forest by their father and on that same night, three resolutions are made. The first sister walks in one direction to find purpose, the second walks the opposite direction to find adventure and the third, she stays right where she is, believing her life should be built from this spot. Through their individual adventures the girls have grown forests, baked cakes, saved villages, sang songs, fought wars, crossed oceans and built homes. Twenty years later the sisters meet back in the forest, where it all started, now as women. The tenacious trio at the heart of this contemporary fairytale inspire audiences with their determination and sisterhood, this is a story that will empower and encourage us to take charge of your own path in life. 

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