Pallas Sister Rising Review
ATYP’s reviewing program was created to give young people a platform to voice their opinions and experiences while developing skills in critical reflection. The views expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of ATYP or its staff.
Grace Wilson is a playwright whose work has come bursting onto the Australian theatre scene in the past year. After seeing Pallas Sister Rising, I understand the reason behind her success. The play is a 21st-century reimagining of the relationship between Pallas and Athena, examining what happens when two powerful women come into conflict.
Wilson is a remarkably talented writer, providing her actors with theatrical dialogue on par with that of playwrights with decades of experience. Many emerging playwrights use their work to create a relationship between the audience where they are the observers and the story is observed, but Wilson writes Pallas Sister Rising so that the characters become storytellers, a powerful relationship that made me feel immersed in the world of the narrative.
Where the play struggles is in the set-up of the central relationship, without any moments in the play explaining why these two ‘horrid’ people came to depend on each other, the stakes of the two characters losing their relationship seem to be unclear. If two women are so opposed to each other and fight so often, why would they choose to move in together? That being said, the play felt like an ode to the toxic and often co-dependent female friendships that exist in our youth. The feeling that these two characters couldn’t leave each other alone despite them being aware of their toxicity was unfortunately relatable, and a side of female relationships not normally explored with such nuance.
I applaud Madelyne Leite and Cara Avenia for their performances, which felt incredibly natural and assured. The engaging nature of this performance, and the way it seemed to draw its audience in, is a testament to the hard work that theatrePUNK co, El Waddingham and all other creatives involved put into this show. I sincerely hope it can be seen by more people, and I’m excited for what these creatives are going to do in the future.
Eleanor Swan, 19 [she/her]
Pallas Sister Rising played at Back Dock Arts in Brisbane from the 25th-27th of August. See details here.