Every family is complicated, but some are more complicated than others. This Much I Know explores the dynamics between sisters Eadie and Naomi, who were forced to intellectually compete against each other by their overbearing mother. As children, younger sister Eadie was the one who always came out on top, while older sister Naomi became known for being a ‘disappointment’, with the outcome of one fateful competition seemingly setting the tone for the course of their lives. Though the sisters had drifted apart in adulthood, Eadie’s return home reopens old wounds and brings unresolved trauma back to the surface.
Hannah Greenstreet’s original writing well deserved its showcase in the OUDS New Writing Festival. I loved her conceptualisation of the format of the show, interspersing the real-life scenes with a game-show segment pitting the two sisters against each other. The game show itself (also titled ‘This Much I Know’) was wonderfully campy and injected a dose of humour into the play, which balanced well against its more serious themes, such as the meaning of success. I also really appreciated how Greenstreet connected parenting philosophical theory to relevant modern ethical topics like in-vitro fertilisation and designer babies.
Every member of the all-female cast shone individually, but I especially enjoyed Matilda Hadock’s roles: the simpering host of ‘This Much I Know’, and the mother of Eadie and Naomi, a self-proclaimed ‘parenting expert’ who treats her children as her own personal experiments. Her over-the-top, gloriously fake personality never failed to draw laughs from the audience. Stylistically, the lighting and music complemented the transitions between scenes — the transformation of the game show podium into a coffee shop counter was extremely effective, as was the overall set.
This Much I Know is a wildly entertaining show that puts family dynamics at the forefront of the conversation. While it is already sold out for its next two shows on Friday and Saturday, rest assured if you already have a ticket, because it is definitely worth the watch!