Home » Reviews » Comedy » The Sisters: Return to the Isle of Queef!, Hen and Chickens Theatre – Review
Credit: India Roper-Evans Photography
Credit: India Roper-Evans Photography

The Sisters: Return to the Isle of Queef!, Hen and Chickens Theatre – Review

Pros: Well-crafted comedy writing and entertaining performances make this a funny and enjoyable show.

Cons: It’s a little slow off the mark – the first ten minutes are pure cheese and a bit confusing. The bumpy start is all but forgotten by the end of the performance.

Pros: Well-crafted comedy writing and entertaining performances make this a funny and enjoyable show. Cons: It’s a little slow off the mark – the first ten minutes are pure cheese and a bit confusing. The bumpy start is all but forgotten by the end of the performance. I really enjoyed this show for reasons I can barely verbalise, however as this is a review, I’ll do my very best. It is a far-fetched fairy tale about two sisters living on a seemingly idyllic Isle somewhere in the Outer Hebrides, their bucolic existence marred only by the existence of the…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

Once this production gets going I defy anyone not to laugh – it's old fashioned panto-style humour at its best.

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I really enjoyed this show for reasons I can barely verbalise, however as this is a review, I’ll do my very best. It is a far-fetched fairy tale about two sisters living on a seemingly idyllic Isle somewhere in the Outer Hebrides, their bucolic existence marred only by the existence of the Wicked Queen Madam M’zelle, intent on bringing starvation and misery to their lives. The Wicked Queen and her bodiless lover Paul (yes, he is just a head!) whip up a storm of conceptual dance, which transports the sisters to London. They fall out and go their separate ways to meet characters beyond their comprehension. Madame M’zelle pursues them, her aim to kill them. After a few murders, the sisters reunite and save themselves and the Queen, then return to Queef and vow to always stay there, like ‘an internal haemorrhoid.’ I did stay it was far-fetched, but the plot is just the vehicle for delivering some very clever and entertaining humour.

The writing here is exceptionally good. The characters are pastiche and pitch perfect at the same time, easily relatable, making the comedy almost instantly accessible and fresh. Every comic device is employed – irony, pun, double entendre and a dash of the ridiculous served up with buckets of cheese and unexpected profanity. I laughed, as did the entire audience, unashamedly and unreservedly amused by the drama unfolding. It can’t be easy to write such a variety of humour so naturally and consistently up tempo, however that is exactly what is achieved in The Sisters. There is genuine talent in the script to the credit of the writers who, as it happens, also deliver all the characters with successful versatility.

And their performances are really very good! The Pigeons, Jasmine Jones, Benedict Hooper and Leonie Hill skip between several characters throughout the performance with commendable agility and credibility. I have to say my favourite character was the boy wizard, played by Jasmine Jones. I was impressed and a little dumfounded by her transformation from twee, intellectual sister to awkward nerdy youth, wielding a stick and casting naïve and trusting camaraderie in the direction of the feckless Sister who befriends him. This is a priceless piece of acting and a credit to Jones who embraces not just the boy’s passion for Potter, but also his middle class foibles. That said, Hopper nails the dim-witted sister and the OCD employer to the tee and Hill is both endearing and menacing in her roles as the evil queen and the depressed pub landlady in equal measure. These are polished performances and very entertaining throughout.

It was a busy night in Highbury, courtesy of an Arsenal fixture, and I was a little hot and bothered by the time I’d got the bar, collected my ticket and taken my seat at the welcoming Hen and Chickens Pub theatre. I also had genuinely no idea what genre I was there to see (thanks to pre- Christmas madness) and that may explain why I was a little slow to warm up to the humour that engulfed me by the end of the performance. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this little piece of comic genius – it ticks all the boxes for me. I can see it on the telly or polished up for the West End. So if you want a good old fashioned giggle, go see it.

Authors: Jasmine Jones, Benedict Hopper, Leonie Hill and Gabby Best
Director: Susan Crothers
Box Office: 020 7704 2001
Booking Link: .
Booking Until: 7th December 2013

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Founded in 2011, Everything Theatre started life as a pokey blog run by two theatre enthusiasts and – thanks to the Entry Pass Scheme for 16-25 year olds – regular National Theatre goers. Today, we are run by part-time volunteers from a wide array of backgrounds. Among our various contributors are people who work in theatre, but also people who work in law, medicine, events, marketing and even psychiatry! We are all united by our love for the London theatre scene.