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