It dawns on me as I watch Amy and Rosana Cade touching themselves in front of the two unsuspecting strangers that they’ve pulled from the audience that I’ve never seen a lapdance in the flesh.
It’s just the first of a number of eye-opening moments. Amy tells tales from her year making porn films – “In my opinion you can still be a feminist and like getting cum in your face”. Rosana talks about—but will not specify, such is the shame she feels—the sexual fetish that absorbs hours of her time online.
It’s all very graphic; but it’s also funny, the sisters bursting the balloon of our awkwardness with wry responses to each other’s anecdotes. They both spend nearly the entire show naked, but after the first shock of that opening lap dance, their strutting, posing and even occasional pole dancing come to feel fairly ordinary. Though the pair are talking about their sexuality and the various ways in which they perform that sexuality, Sister isn’t in itself a sexy show. Their accounts of family members' struggles with their choices, in fact, make it a warm and moving one.
There are lulls in the action. And a favourite narrative technique—speaking nearly the same words at the same time to give a sense of their different takes on something—too often results in delivery that is stilted and robotic. These flaws notwithstanding, it’s a rare thing for a Fringe show to make you genuinely rethink your position on subjects as major as porn or escorting. Sister does just that.