My Brother, My Sister and Me review – quirky sibling comedy is unrivalled
Polka theatre, London
A brother and sister contemplate the arrival of a new baby in Sarah Argent’s brilliant new show, in which everything is seen through the eyes of a child
We’re in a lovely bedroom with sparkly carpets and beautiful painted trees on the walls. On stage, a brother and sister are figuring out how to share their bedroom, following the arrival of a baby sibling. In the theatre, my two-year-old nephew Joseph is struggling to sit alongside a crowd of noisy and excited kids. Joseph is scared and he wants to go home. By the end of Sarah Argent’s brilliant show, we have to stop him clambering on to the stage. It’s quite the transformation.
Argent creates richly detailed, funny and thoughtful shows and has had a number of hits at the Polka, including Shake, Rattle and Roll last year. She devises family theatre that speaks directly to children, and works hard to find their language, their visuals and their feelings. My Brother, My Sister and Me is based on a series of conversations with local kids and their excited chatter has led to a script that glows with quirky and authentic detail. As the siblings get ready for bed, they discuss their new sister and wonder if she “speaks baby”. When they play hide and seek – they’re too excited to sleep – the brother proudly informs his sister: “The best place to hide is in Belgium.” And when the two make up a song about a toy gecko, the rhymes echo around the room (“Geckooooo, echoooo!”).