Sisterhood review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘fails to cast a convincing spell’

Sisterhood by Jolie Booth, at the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Sisterhood by Jolie Booth, at the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

When shall we three meet again? According to Sisterhood by Jolie Booth, at any point in history. This play weaves together the fate of three women about to burn at the stake with brief snippets from the lives of modern women.

The idea is to show the damage done to the bonds between females by the historic witch trials and the immutable link that exists regardless, even between women who don’t really get along.

The belief of the performers (Jules Craig, Jolie Booth and Coco Maertens) in the project is palpable and the set design by Alberta Jones is a detailed cross-pollination of 16th-century ecclesiastical and fluorescent face paint, doodles and super-bright strands of wool.

The problem is that despite its sincerity as a project, it never translates into a believable or coherent narrative. Laced with “art”, “ye”, “yonder” and “thou”, the script sounds like a pastiche of Shakespeare. As they await the flames, the women dish out Ye Olde Periode Advice and lark around with a fox’s cock in a handkerchief.

The free sheet states: “Women don’t have to agree with each other. They don’t even have to like each other.” So maybe it’s OK I didn’t like this.

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Women and witchcraft play briefly sparks but fails to cast a convincing spell