Theatre review: The Weir Sisters, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Deborah Arnott as the surviving 97-year-old Dorothy, Sandra McNeeley  as Margaret and Meghan Tyler as Grace,  gone before
Deborah Arnott as the surviving 97-year-old Dorothy, Sandra McNeeley as Margaret and Meghan Tyler as Grace, gone before
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ON THE backdrop, an image of the pearly gates, viewed from within; and in the foreground, two of the Weir sisters, Grace and Margaret, getting a wee party together to celebrate the imminent arrival of the third, Dorothy.

Oran Mor, Glasgow **** Grace died at 22 during the Second World War, at the hands of her violent husband; Margaret was knocked down by a bus in 1988, after raising a family, working as a cleaner, and winning a university degree in middle age.

Dorothy, though, has made it to 97; and when she arrives, old, confused, and full of rage at being forced to spend her last years in a dreary, patronising care home, Grace and Margaret have only a short time to explain where she is, and to persuade her to recognise them.

This is Lynn Ferguson’s fine new short play The Weir Sisters, the last Play, Pie and Pint show of the autumn; and in the course of a beautifully-written 55 minutes, it gives all three sisters a chance to tell the stories of their lives and deaths, dramatic and violent, partly comic, and truly tragic.

Sandra McNeeley and 
Meghan Tyler make a fine double-act as Margaret and Grace, well used to the ways of the afterlife; and as 
Deborah Arnott’s Dorothy gradually throws off her 97 years, and finds herself again by leading us into the heart of her greatest loss, we can all briefly share Lynn Ferguson’s kind, richly imagined dream of an afterworld in which women place the right 
value on their own lives, at last, and in which – in the words of Grace’s favourite, Vera Lynn – we will all meet again, at least for one day.

JOYCE MCMILLAN

Final performance today.