Review: The Travelling Sisters Let Loose (Anywhere Fest)

Review by Nerissa Rowan

It’s the last night of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, and the show is sold out. We meet on a street corner, before being led down a dark alleyway. What awaits us? Should we be frightened? Is this a trap?

But from behind the trees emerges a brightly lit garden surrounding a beautiful old Queenslander. The verandah is full of waiting audience members, drinking tea, coffee and hot chocolate. It has the feel of a garden party, as we run into people we know, chat and take in the surroundings.

Soon the front doors open and we are led into a spacious living room. I settle on a mattress piled with cushions, closest to the fireplace. The atmosphere is friendly, and we feel we’ve arrived at a friends’ party. When the hostesses arrive, there are magic tricks and party games which get everyone joining in. Tonight is clearly about having a good time.

The Travelling Sisters Let Loose is a comfortable cabaret, which loosely links stories, songs and traveller’s tales. Lucy Fox and Ell Sachs tell us how they found this “abandoned” house, and how they’ve passed their time since — bathing in memories and music. They wander the room, so no matter where you sit, you’ll be in the perfect spot for some part of the action.

The subject matters are many and varied, including love, loss, losing face and losing inhibitions. Whether fact or fiction, they feel like personal stories, told with real emotion in conversational style, in song or in poetry. The songs are quirky and clever, and the voices are beautiful. One epic song is accompanied with a gorgeous animation projected on a wall.

Throughout the night, the audience is treated to snacks. The relaxed atmosphere helps us feel that we can sing along or clap in time to the music just as we would among friends. Some are asked to help build a blanket fort. It would be difficult not to smile — but why would you try?

The Travelling Sisters Let Loose is an enormously warm feel-good show. It’s staged like a family concert — but my family is nowhere near as talented as this pair. I look forward to finding out what new adventures they will take us on.

The Travelling Sisters Let Loose ran from 8 to 19 May, 2013. Anywhere Theatre Festival

Anywhere Fest: The Travelling Sisters Let Loose

Lucy Fox and Ell Sachs are ready to take you on a metaphorical adventure through Kelvin Grove’s mysterious ways and abandoned homes in The Travelling Sisters Let Loose — a “cabaret of life’s quests and questions.”

Q. Describe your show/s in under 25 words.
A. Haunting, dark, awkward and funny, The Travelling Sisters might push some buttons but their honesty is transfixing within the walls of the fire-lit living room.

Q. Anywhere Festival is about making art everywhere. What makes your venue unique?
A. Its a place that most people wouldn’t even realise still exists in the inner-city suburbs of Brisbane. It takes you back in time. Also, we want our audience to feel more like they are sitting in a friend’s living room. The theme is comfort, stories and sharing. The audience is free to shuffle around to get a different view, although they may just become transfixed by the historical aliveness of the house’s nooks and crannies.

The Travelling Sisters

Q. If your show were a new My Little Pony, what would it look like? What would its superpower be?
A. Melted Milton. It would be a twisted, distorted thing of beauty and its superpower would be the power of flatulence. Flatulence is both a weapon and a power source for flying.

Q. The Travelling Sisters Let Loose starts at a “meeting place” in Kelvin Grove — is this show one of exploration and adventure? Tell me more!
A. Definitely! But more in the metaphorical sense. The exploration and adventure takes place in the warmth of a living room through stories and songs. It is not a walking tour around the back-streets of Kelvin Grove. Although that’s not a bad idea either — maybe next year!?

To join The Travelling Sisters  as they let loose, meet at Cnr Ballymore & Dunsmore St, Kelvin Grove. Runs from 8 to 19 May, 2013.