Review: The Amazing Vancetti Sisters ***

 Jane Vancetti is a rebel, or so her safety-pinned Sex Pistols t-shirt would have you believe. But when she arrives six months late for her father’s funeral, her feisty exterior cannot mask the pain of tormented youth, and home truths quickly come spilling out.

After spending a childhood behind the glitter curtain of her father’s magic act, Jane’s anorexic, agoraphobic sister Elisa is desperate to have her moment in the spotlight. Trapped by thoughts of how to attack intruders with an egg slicer, the damage done by the legacy of the Amazing Vernon Vancetti is evident.

This is the writing debut of Athena Stevens, the disabled actress who plays Jane. Her script is often sharp and engaging, and although a little unoriginal at times, Stevens, Lorna Beckett (Elisa) and Timothy Knightley (Michael) do it justice. Nevertheless, events become melodramatic towards the end of the play, damaging what is otherwise a very credible piece of theatre.

There is nothing groundbreaking to Hanna Berrigan’s production, but the wonderfully tender relationship between Jane and boyfriend Michael and the simmering tensions between the sisters make for engaging, albeit fraught, viewing.

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