One of the emerging themes in this year’s festival is that of care, both of one’s self and of others.
Rachel and Pauline are sisters, but there’s an almost 10-year age gap between them. Since their father became sick, Pauline feels the burden of care, for him and Rachel, has fallen to her.
She’s living entirely for others, her hopes and ambitions put on hold indefinitely. When Rachel shows up, ostensibly to help, years of resentment bubble to the surface.
Charley Miles’ follow-up to the acclaimed Blackthorn is astute about sibling rivalry and the complexity of familial love. Via flashbacks, Daughterhood allows the audience to get to know both women slowly, to see their situation from different perspectives.
There’s one particularly gorgeous and vivid speech about sperm whales, and several subtler moments in which both sisters’ reveal something of themselves.
Charlotte Bate convinces as a woman who’s pushed her own wants and needs to one side for years, more weary than bitter, worn down.
Charlotte O’Leary’s Rachel, in contrast, is bubbly and bright.
Toyin Omari-Kinch plays all the men in their lives – friends and boyfriends, and in one brief and telling scene, their father, but there’s a bluntness to Stef O’Driscoll’s in-the-round production that dilutes the play’s potential emotional power.