Edinburgh Fringe 2022
Edinburgh-based award-winning Siamsoir Irish dancers return with their fifth original show – an Irish dance play. Two very different sisters have a devastating decision to make which will test their relationship and change their lives. Told through rousing Irish dance with original music from TV and film composer Chris Tolley, this haunting and heart-warming story explores human nature when faced with loss.
A conflict between two sisters is at the heart of this play. Each sister has taken a different avenue of life so far, and they see things differently. When a serious family situation emerges these two sisters have to dig deep about how to handle it.
The Samsoir Irish Dancers in Edinburgh have created a fascinating story told through both acting and dance. It is surprising how well this story propels itself forward in the acted scenes and Irish dance sequences, it works very well.
Decision, is written by Jennifer Hogan Roxburgh and Daniël Henry Kaes, directed by Diane Legget with music composed by Chris Tolley and choreographed by Jennifer Hogan Roxburgh. A cast of eight led by Roxburgh perform the story. The two sisters are Naomi played by Roxburgh and Brooke played by Nikki Fenton and they both carry off the acting in several theatrical scenes and dance routines joined by six dancers. Both actor dancers use a range of emotions in their interactions as the two sisters and their characters are believable and sincere.
Onstage there is a simple and versatile set comprising a large book case which becomes several other things when it is deftly moved around the space. Lighting is used for dramatic effect.
Roxburgh’s choreography is very creative and expresses the moods very well. Each number builds in complexity, starting with formations of all eight performers in an Irish Dance in Irish soft shoes and progressing to Irish hard shoes which have a loud percussive sound that increases the drama or excitement levels. Variations of dancers in pairs or two groups of four became part of the storytelling and arc of this story, together with the dynamic music to express accord or discord, cleverly. Later dances include a wee bit of fusion of contemporary steps and arm positions which enhances the free exploration of a poignant story, through the acting and dancing.
This show is full of energy and warmth! The storytelling is very clear and the dancing is excellent throughout and would be enjoyed by all ages. Decision was very well received by the audience when I saw it, it is a joyous and inventive show!