Daughterhood (4 stars)

This article is from 2019


New play from Charley Miles exploring family bonds through a pair of troubled sisters 

In this stark new play, Charley Miles places the responsibilities and challenges of family bonds under a microscope to reveal where love has the power to both empower and diminish. Daughterhood tells the story of sisters Rachel and Pauline: with nine years between them, Rachel is finishing university while Pauline has given up everything to care for their terminally ill father. The narrative is non-linear, jumping from GCSEs to potential graduate schemes, in swift transitions that reflect the two girls' tumultuous relationship.

There are outstanding performances from Charlotte O'Leary and Charlotte Bate, with slick dialogue cutting from light-hearted to scathing in quick succession, representing 25 years of passive aggression and unexpressed anger. The script is compelling, and while the climactic fight is abruptly resolved too close to the play's conclusion, this doesn't detract from the play's minimalistic but detailed analysis of the relationship.

At the finale of this slow burner of a play, after chopping and changing between various stages of life and anger with each other, the narrative returns to the only thing that matters in a spine-tingling change of tone and setting. Daughterhood is a simple show with ferocious emotional depth, that leaves nowhere to hide from the intensity of the relationship at its core.

Roundabout @ Summerhall, until 25 Aug (not 13, 18, 20, 24), times vary, £17 (£12).


  • 4 stars

Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd One sister stayed at home to care for Dad. The other set out to "make a difference". Reunited under their childhood roof, they unearth more than the 10 years between them. It’s a huge gap. Almost insurmountable. And each is determined to let the other know exactly who has done things right.