‘Confusing yet predictable’ is the perfect way to describe Wardrobe Ensemble’s latest play, The Last of the Pelican Daughters. At the end of the show, everyone in the audience has the same question: couldn’t they just settle for just the one theme?
On their late mother’s birthday, the Pelican sisters – Joy, Storm, Sage and Maya – return to the family home to celebrate and remember her. The celebration is cut short when Storm (Jesse Meadows) disrupts things by suggesting she should have a greater share of the inheritance given that she had spent the last two years caring for their mother before she died.
The plot of the play is quite simple. The audience can easily guess what will happen next, so it is a little bit boring to watch – except when there is a beautifully arranged dance or a random comedic exchange between characters. However, even then one cannot help but feel that even some of the dances are meaningless in the context of the story and that the play is better off without them.
To make this simple and somewhat unoriginal text more interesting and intense, a lot of themes are discussed in it. It could be seen as a commentary on idealism or class struggle. It could also be seen as a testament to woman power or, maybe, the importance of sisterhood. Whatever the main theme is, the audience struggle to focus on it because of all these side themes. The play ends in sisterly solidarity, which makes everyone wonder if this was the intention of writers Jesse Jones and Tom Brennan all along.
Nonetheless, the cast is amazing and they make the show worth seeing. Sara Lessore as Maia, Kerry Lovell as Joy, Jesse Meadows as Storm and Helena Middleton as Sage, portray a dysfunctional sisterhood perfectly. With their every gesture and mimic, it is possible to see and relate to the combination of sisterly love and jealousy.
Despite its random, strange choreography, unoriginal text and struggle of choosing a main theme, The Last of the Pelican Daughters is a show worth seeing for a few laughs and an an incredible, very talented cast.
The Last of the Pelican Daughters was on at Pleasance Courtyard – Beyond (Venue 33)