DramaNorth East & YorkshireReview

Run Sister Run – Studio Theatre, Sheffield

Reviewer: Sheila Stratford

Writer: Chloë Moss

Director: Charlotte Bennet

Two sisters, with two very different paths in life. Their chaotic childhood has laid the roots for their troubled lives. Though they seem to fight on every occasion they meet, the bond of love between them appears impossible to break. Chloë Moss’ new play Run Sister Run, is world premiered at the Studio in Sheffield. It is a co-production between Sheffield Theatres, theatre companies Paines Plough and Soho Theatre. It is a hard-hitting play full of emotion. The two sisters are not victims but are survivors with a sense of humour and bond of love that carries them through life.

The play looks back over four decades of their lives up to the eighties. Gone are the days when husbands invited their boss back for dinner to impress and gain promotion. Connie (Lucy Ellinson) the elder sister is financially comfortable, married and has a son; to the outsider her life may appear sweet. We see her aspiring educated husband Adrian (Silas Carson) transition from an understanding suitor to a patronising, controlling and abusive husband. When their son makes a life changing announcement the parents react in very different ways leading to an ultimate change in the family relationship.

Connie’s sister Ursula (Helena Lymbery) is something of a bag lady with bouts in prison. She is disorganised and at times wild. The strength in Moss’s play lies in how Moss is able to retrace the events in the characters’ lives so we can understand why they all behave as they do.

It is a challenging role for the son Jack (Lucas Button) as he transitions from an anxious yet trusting young child to a stroppy adolescent, expecting and demanding unconditional love and handouts from his parents.

On set there are numerous Perspex boxes where at times the actors retreat so their presence is felt even though they are not in the scene. The symbolism of the boxes is perhaps a little confusing.

All the characters in this one act play are entirely believable and well-acted, apart from on occasion the dialogue is so rapid fire that it is difficult to catch everything that is being said. The humour, and at times tenderness, helps to carry this emotional play, and that despite everything the bond between the sisters is strong and enduring.

Runs until 21st March 2020

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