It was a gala night to be cherished at Pitlochry Festival Theatre as the doors opened on their new studio.
And the value of this more intimate space can not be understated as the metaphorical curtain rose on the world premiere of Sister Radio in collaboration with the Stellar Quines Theatre Company.
This two-hander by Sara Shaarawi, an Egyptian writer now based in Glasgow, is a perfect fit in this setting, where up close and personal is de rigeur.
Irani sisters Fatemeh and Shirin have been sharing a flat in Edinburgh for 43 years.
They don’t do a lot of talking, but read the “future” in their coffee dregs, listen to the radio, recall childhood years in Tehran, then fall out big time during lockdown in the global pandemic — needless to say, it involves a man!
Familial relations are tested to the extreme before an emotional denouement.
It’s a stylised production from the Stellar Quines Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Caitlin Skinner, with the sisters in unison as they drink their coffee and “read” the grains.
Alternating back and forth in time, the girls hunch their shoulders and take on an ungainly gait for the “now” in comparison to the more agile movement of the “then” — this simple, but inspiring, piece of direction certainly ensures a fluidity of movement between two eras in a split second.
Incredible double act
It is an incredible double act by Lanna Joffrey (Fatemeh) and Nalân Burgess (Shirin) in this beautifully-constructed piece with original music from Farzane Zamen, an Iranian musician also based in Glasgow.
The evocative Edinburgh flat (designer Becky Minto) and lighting (Kate Bonney) add to the ambience — all stellar quines, indeed.
Sister Radio continues in the studio at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on various dates until September 28, then goes on tour including performances at St Andrews’ Byre Theatre (October 19) and Perth Theatre (October 27/28),