"Brave, refreshing piece of theatre"
by Annie Draper for remotegoat on 20/09/17

Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth were two sisters from a wealthy background who gave up their privileged background in order to fight for the rights of the disenfranchised and poor by becoming political activist. Sadly little is taught about them in history lessons and many people do not know about their stories, which makes it all the more refreshing that Kimberly Campanello has made them the topic of a new play, Constance and Eva.

I went in perhaps with too much of the expectation to have their entire life stories told, which is not what this play does, but which was probably also too much too tackle in one single play. Instead we see a lot of the aftermath of their political activism, as one of them is in prison and for a long time the sisters cannot see each other, until their eventual reunion.

The set-up of placing them on two separate stages is a good idea in principle, but a little bit overstretched in this case (literally). Having seen this flexible little venue in many different formations, I did think a more audience friendly solution could easily have been found. That being said, I did really enjoy the lighting and additional projections used throughout the show.

The script is very wordy, so maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but, on the other hand, I could also see it work well as a radio drama. The direction and portrayal of the characters are not very emotionally connected and it remains a bit unclear whether this was intentional or an accident.

Overall, there are certain elements in the production that don’t quite gel, whilst individually all having been of value. Nonetheless, there’s some great stuff going on here and I found it an enlightening performance. Most of all, it left me wanting to know even more about these two inspirational women and that can only be a good thing.

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