Rosana and Amy Cade, The Arches Behaviour Festival, 6-7th March

Sisters are by nature both very similar and very different people. As the audience enters The Arches performance space, set up in Cabaret style with tables and chairs grouped around the stage, both Rosana and Amy are dressed in the same long flowing wigs, revealing lingerie and skyscraper heels. As one sister walks through the audience, greeting friends, the other performs for us, front and centre, on a pole. Suddenly, unceremoniously, the music switches and the two sisters swap roles.

This is only the introduction to the performance, a prelude of sorts, that introduces the themes of sexuality, sisterhood, difference and sameness and, most prominently, the question: what is feminism and how can it differ? Throughout the show, both Amy and Rosana are incredibly open with the audience; with tales of the porn industry and of giving blow jobs, a 2 minute q&a for the crowd and, to reflect this honesty, repeated complete nudity from both sisters.

Intermingled with the performance are multimedia home videos of the two sisters playing together as children and with their families. They come from the same background but have grown into very different women, with different values and beliefs. The younger Rosana talks often about her struggle to find herself as someone different to her sister, most poignantly represented in a scene where, naked, she crawls around the stage, her own heels on her feet and Amy’s shoes on her hands. But high heels are not where Rosana feels comfortable in herself, and she violently replaces them with Doc Martins in an emotive expression of self discovery and understanding.

We learn that while Rosana and Amy may not feel and believe in entirely the same values, may not follow the same paths or be comfortable living each other’s lives, they are both strong women who speak out for themselves, each other and for all women. Their ethos is one the audience, or at least this reviewer, hopes to embody. Whether you bare all on stage for a group of strangers and friends, refuse to conform to societal beauty standards, work in the sex industry, or simply stand up for your own beliefs, likes and for women, feel encouraged by Sister to find your own voice and to be proud of it.

[Emma Ainley-Walker]

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