In Sibs, intimacy, openness and unrestrained enthusiasm create an engaging and highly amusing show as real life siblings Liv Parker and Chris Parker reconstruct the childhood relationship that laid the foundations for their careers in performing arts.
The sharply written script uses back-handed compliments, brutally honest put-downs and heavy doses of irony to reveal the jealousies, unresolved resentments and deep affections that stand beneath the constant bickering of an intense brother-sister relationship.
Both performers display strong theatrical skills with some finely executed moments of physical theatre, wildly exuberant dancing and clever use of music and video — though there is perhaps a bit too much reliance on the endearing cuteness of young kids playing-up for the camera in home videos.
The show revisits some of the material covered in Chris Parker's one-man show No More Dancing in the Good Room which tells of a young boy coming to terms with being gay while growing up in a liberal suburban home. The story is given freshness and revealing depth with the added perspective of the younger sister who often appears overwhelmed by the intensity of her brother's various obsessions.
Moments of poignancy emerge as Liv Parker struggles to escape from the controlling influence of an older brother who frankly admits he would dress and groom his little sister like a Barbie-doll as a way of sublimating his own gender identity issues.
Nostalgia buffs will enjoy the show's unabashed celebration of '90s dance music. There is some impassioned lip-syncing to Olivia Newton-John's rendition of Hopelessly Devoted to You and the show reaches a riotous conclusion with a hilarious costumed routine set to the infectiously up-beat rhythms of '90s dance-craze sensations The Vengaboys.
Where & When: The Basement, until Saturday, August 11
Reviewed by: Paul Simei-Barton