Arts Review: Glimmer

Glas(s) Performance, Tramway, 6th – 21st December

Reviewing something so adorable feels rather Scrooge-like. Glimmer is meant to be fun, familial, and festive, and it really is.

Rosie Reid has the Christmas bug and is determined to share it with her sister, Megan, who is just not feeling it. Cue multiple and increasingly overblown attempts by Rosie to spread the cheer on to her younger-but-taller sibling.

It probably says something about my own early-20-something mentality that by the end of the show I feel for whoever has to tidy the performance space. Rosie pulls out presents, tinsel, fake snow, cosy jumpers, and all sorts of winter-related material to try crack a smile from her more stoic sister.

There are trips down memory lane as the sisters reminisce about Christmases gone by, with a relatable tinge of nostalgia for the non-kids in the audience. It is the sibling dynamic that stands out the most, along with their personality differences. Chances are you will relate to one of the sisters over another, and so while I found Rosie bordering on the hysterical, you never doubt that she is well meaning.

Megan’s musical segment is haunting and delicate, much to Rosie’s disappointment (she wanted upbeat, gosh darn it!), and the depth of the sisters’ relationship is really highlighted when they reenact pictures from their childhood.

When things descend into petty banter Glimmer really shows its human heart. The whiney tones between people who grew up together never go away, and sure enough, the sisters go through a few spats with an air of being seconds away from telling a parent. The essence and zenith of the piece is that there is no magic – just a realisation of how different people function, and that it is okay to enjoy things in your own way.

Whether you want to bounce around in pyjamas like Rosie or quietly watch the TV like Megan, Glimmer will leave you with a warmed heart and a craving for woolen clothing.

[Scott Wilson – @HeartofFire]

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