Sharing their thoughts on body image, beauty, dating and societal expectations these sisters reveal their judgements and insecurities through what many would consider healthy and normal sibling ribbing. But does being a sibling excuse such scathing comments? Is it okay for a once 'fat' person to make 'fat' jokes and for us as an audience to laugh at them?
In a conversational, one woman show written by one sister and read/performed by the other, Big Sister leads you to ask yourself these questions. Although a comedy, it's probable that you may shed a tear as these performers expose their unabashed thoughts and feelings of and for each other and leave you with the final question.. do you really know your sibling?
Big Sister by Rapid Pitch Productions is playing at the Revue Stage on Granville Island 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Karen Roller
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Welcome theatre addicts. My name is Karen and I'm reviewing Big Sister by Deborah Vogt. V-O-G-T in case I have the pronunciation wrong.
Here at the review stage as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival. My understanding is that Deborah is no stranger to the fringe. I believe she had a pick of the fringe winner in the past recent years.
This is the first collaboration with her sister Nicole. So my understanding is that Deborah has the playwright and Nicole is the actress in this one woman show. I believe it's an all woman creative team and it's listed as sexual content. It sounds like it's gonna be, I don't wanna say graphic but because it's about these two sisters I think they get down and dirty. They bare their souls. It's what you'd probably expect from two sisters, no holds barred. I could be wrong but we'll find out about that shortly. I'm looking forward to this because it does sound like it's going to be a very vulnerable piece. Although it does mention that it's funny and silly as well. So, nice combinations whenever those go together. Usually some rugged material but in a lighthearted way. So I'm interested to see how that turns out.
I'm back theatre addicts. That was a great performance. It definitely was funny, silly and intimate. A couple of the warnings I think I mentioned earlier there might have been some course language and sexual content. There was a bit of that but nothing really shocking or appalling. Obviously you gotta put the warnings in there but, I wouldn't really give it a lot of attention.
The other thing too was there was a little bit of audience interaction, they asked for some readings in some situations. There was a little bit of pointing. No heckling or anything like that, not enough to make anyone nervous. If you didn't wanna do any reading or didn't have your reading glasses, again they just moved on to somebody else. Just something to be aware of but again, don't be freaked out by it by any means.
So I did mention that this was two sisters. One did the writing and then the other was performing it. One sister actually asks the question. Do you love your sibling? But do you like your sibling? Do you trust them? And then the most important, do you really know them? I feel like that was a really powerful moment. 'Cause to me that's really what this production's about.
They say that the subject matter is about fat shaming or about body image and for sure they touch on that and there's a really interesting discussion there about, you know, if someone is this confident big sister and then all of a sudden they go and lose this weight. Was that confidence and happiness really a farce? Have they gone against all of their beliefs? Which is an interesting question and they do touch on that and they discover that for sure.
What I really, really feel that this is, is as I mentioned. An experiment in honesty and it's not even so much honesty as it is openness. So, the way that it comes out is a fact that you've got the one sister who's written a script essentially that the one follows but then there's also letters and the one sister reads the letters and they usually end with some sort of open ended question.
So the one sister sort of bares her sole to the other sister and then asks her to do the same. So it really is creating a dialogue in that difficult open conversation between two siblings that I don't think enough siblings ever really have. I could be wrong, I don't have siblings. I have to admit after this show though, I kind of wish I did. I do feel like I'm missing out. However, I do have to wonder how many siblings really know one another as well.
This was so open, so raw. The performance I was at, the writer was in the audience, she was in the front row. I don't know if that's the way that they're all going to be. I think they are, I think they are. It's interesting because the sister acting goes off book numerous times. However, I have to wonder if that's really true too or if she's pretending to go off book and just does it really well.
Yeah. There's definitely some tears shed. There's some very moving moments. I think anyone could enjoy this show whether you have siblings or not and I think Deborah's got another hit on her hands here and I think that's great that she can share that with her sister who undoubtedly had a lot to do with what I think will be this productions success.
So if you do check this show out, please do provide your thoughts in the comments below and also, don't forget to subscribe to Theatre Addicts YouTube channel as well as check the website regularly for updated reviews and interviews. I'm Karen at the review stage with my review of Big Sister by Deborah Vogt.
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