Lynchian combination of comedy, romance and horror in suburban USA
There are equal helpings of absurdist comedy, whimsical romance and domestic horror in Eric John Meyer's The Sister, brought to the Fringe by New York's Dutch Kills Theatre Company. There's humour in the almost slapstick antics of highly strung American couple Bob (Ben Beckley-Chayes) and Leanne (Alley Scott), who get freaked out by shadow puppets and can think of nothing finer than the imagined joy their friends will experience on entering their new home extension. There's a spark of romance between Terry (Justin Yorio), a gloriously boring neighbour of Bob and Leanne's, and Colleen (Erin Mallon), Leanne's sister. And there's utter terror in the way Leanne and especially Bob will suddenly turn to abuse Colleen, debasing her and sending her cowering into the corner.
It's a jolting mix of genres that brings to mind David Lynch's Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet – the way peaceful suburban life can suddenly give way to overwhelming joy or frightening violence. Played out within the bare wooden bones of Bob and Leanne's unfinished extension (a wonderfully cage-like set by Sara C Walsh), the plot developments don't always flow smoothly or even logically (again, like Lynch), but at the very least, the production will provoke a reaction.
Paradise in Augustine's, run ended.