Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bandages

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
4 stars
June and Jane live in a world of their own in Kirsty Housley's curious 
new play, directed by herself for Teg Productions and the Corn 
Exchange, Newbury for last week's brief Mayfesto run. According to the 
shock-horror headlines, outside there's a serial killer on the loose 
attacking young women just like them. Even a quick trip to the 
supermarket for a pint of milk becomes a potential murder scene. 
Inside, the two siblings are safe, seemingly mirror images of each 
other, who dress identically and role-play their mother's rape by a 
butcher and their own subsequent birth. When Bob comes calling with 
ice-cream for June, the games become a lot more dangerous and a whole 
lot closer to home.

Set in a wooden box full of assorted sized flaps that open out onto the 
big bad world outside and wallpapered to clash with June and Jane's 
flowery frocks, Bandages takes the dark iconography of big-screen 
psycho-sexual schlock-fests and turns them on their head. June and Jane 
are damaged, both by their family history and their own insular 
co-dependence, and the bloody conclusion provoked by Bob's appearance 
has been an accident waiting to happen.

In what is essentially a post-modern gothic chamber piece first 
developed at the National Theatre Studio, any slide into melodrama is 
body-swerved by the eccentricities of both play and production.
Bernadette Russell and Sarah Thom's playing style as the sisters and 
Henry Miller's as Bob veers towards a very English form of cut-glass 
live art archness that resembles the knowing black comedy of The League 
of Gentlemen. Bandages too is a strange and troubling little oddity 
that might also be a cult in waiting.

The Herald, May 7th 2013

ends

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