JOYCE MCMILLAN on GLIMMER at the Tramway, Glasgow, for The Scotsman 15.12.14.
4 stars ****
IS IT A CHRISTMAS show? Maybe yes, maybe no; there’s a strong feeling that Glas(s) Performance’s gorgeous 45-minute exploration of sisterly love, co-devised and performed by real life sisters Megan and Rosie Reid, could have been shaped around any scene of family togetherness, from an annual holiday to an ordinary Sunday in front of the telly.
What’s clear, though, is that Christmas – with its high expectations of love, excitement, jollity and goodwill – forms a perfect backdrop to this subtle and beautifully-choreographed show about the tension between bossy older sister Rosie, who is in the mood for Christmas, and younger sister Megan, who is not. There are moments when the basic emotional shape of the show becomes a shade repetitive, or when the handling of it – directed and co-devised by Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore – plunges a shade too deep for tiny audience members; they can only munch their sweeties, during a beautiful, meditative variation on sofa telly-watching positions played out to a piece of soundtrack from It’s A Wonderful Life.
Yet the show’s handling of themes of sibling love and rivalry is so open, so direct, so musically inventive, and so heart-searchingly honest, that every adult or child in the audience finally seems enthralled by it; and by Megan’s final affirmation, as the fairylights glow and snow begins to fall, that she doesn’t want “to be one of those 60-year-old women who doesn’t speak to her sister, because one day, 40 years ago, one of us said something stupid, that she didn’t mean.”