Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Laughing Horse @ Jekyll & Hyde, Edinburgh, until Sun 23 Aug 2015 (times vary)

A “Merry Christmas” sign hangs on the wall and in front of it a table with a christmas cloth, a pot of tea and two sisters, Holly and Ivy. Such seasonal wishes remind the audience that this is meant to be a time of joy and laughter, yet deaths can’t be planned and family trauma provides a poignant contrast. Simple but effective. The minimalist set allows the acting and content to shine.

Following the death of their mother, the two sisters powerfully relive their memories, grieving in entirely different ways. Tensions run high as the sisters battle out their contrasting emotions. Just because someone is dead does that mean your real feelings towards them should change?

Beautiful Scottish accents add to this moving drama. The two sisters are joined briefly by an old family friend, adding a change in dynamic. Noel O’Neill is just as convincing as a Scots man as he is a drunk, whilst Catriona M. Coe (Holly) and Sandra Sando (Ivy) deliver strong performances with real emotion.

A story of misunderstandings, secrets and guilt. Emotive and funny at times, the play unfolds with a shocking twist. This wonderfully presented one act play delves deep and reminds us that not everything in life is a straight forward as it may seem. An engaging and delightful portrayal.