Kin (3 stars)

This article is from 2012


Photo: Nuala Swan

Heartfelt exploration of motherhood starring Donna Rutherford

This sensitive exploration of our relationships with our mothers as we both grow older carefully uses a mixture of live performance and pre-recorded interviews to create a heartfelt and moving show. Sitting at tea-lain tables with televisions displaying interviews as her guests, Donna Rutherford describes herself as a ‘conduit’ to the true parent-related stories of British theatre stars Richard Gregory, Claire Marshall, Tim Ingram, Alison Peebles and Cathy Naden.

Progressing from table to table, turning over hourglasses as she goes, Rutherford acts more as curator. The interviews are cut thematically, and her beautiful singing and patter shapes each theme as much as it extends their emotional power through her very empathetic presence.

Despite her ability to make the audience feel special – her invite for tea at the end of the show is most tempting – Rutherford remains an enigmatic figure, her own story hinted at but not truly shared with us. Her explicit appeals for the audience to connect with the subject matter are a touch overdone, but they will be responsible for many tears this August.

The Playhouse on the Fringe, 0844 871 3014, until 27 Aug (not 14, 21), 2pm, £10 (£8).

KIN Performance (edited extracts)


  • 3 stars

Donna Rutherford. ★★★★ (Scotsman). 'A powerful meditation on the shifting dynamics that seep into the relationship between middle-aged children and elderly parents' ★★★★★ (Herald). Performances-to-camera from members of Forced Entertainment, Quarantine, Reckless Sleepers and actor Alison Peebles explore the fear, sorrow…

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