Review: Sista Girl at The Space Theatre

Sista Girl, presented by the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Yirra Yaaakin Theatre Company, is running at the Space Theatre from May 30 until June 3. 

Elena Carapetis and Alexis West’s original theatre show depicts how two long-lost sisters are introduced to each another after the recent death of their father. Initially, they are strangers, but soon begin a challenging discussion that develops into a deep familial bond. 

Nadia Rossi and Sharni McDermott in their roles influence the audience to recognise issues concerning race and culture that are common in today’s progressive world. 

An underlying message expressed in the performance is how the dividing relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians should be lessened. 

This play debuts during a significant time in the Australian calendar, National Reconciliation Week, where the theme for this year is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps.’ Sista Girl conveys this message by encouraging us, as audience members, to take our own steps forward in truly recognising and appreciating our nation’s first people. 

With that said, an interesting aspect of the text was the overlapping of dialogue. It became one of the many indications of showing how both characters bared many resemblances, despite their ethnic backgrounds. However, some may dispute the text for being too simplistic and perhaps a little clear with its attempt at communicating some of its core teachings. 

Similarly, the sound (Andrew Howard) and lighting (Rick Worringham) production was executed with a minimalistic approach. Both did not seem overly significant to the piece, and were used to blend with the environment. 

The set design (Miranda Hampton) was also fairly simple, with a rotating circular platform in the middle of the space. It became one of the more notable components to the performance as it was spun around during some of the characters’ monologues. 

Overall, Sista Girls offers an insight in to the challenges of racial diversity, but encourages an important conversation that should be more prevalent today - the unity between all nationalities and cultures in Australia. Despite being criticised for its simplicity, both with the text and production elements, the moral is well-defined.

Sista Girl
State Theatre Company of South Australia and Yirra Yaakin
Written by Elena Carapetis and Alexis West
Director: Kyle J Morrison

Venue: The Space Theatre
Dates: 30 May–3 June 2017

Tickets on sale here.