Theatre Review: Sightings

Nora, Riki and Chili have been friends since childhood, and they stick together through thick and thin.

Taken from the actors’ real-life experiences, Sightings draws you in as Nora, Riki and Chili work through the events of one night, teaching the audience and each other exactly what it means to be a modern-day woman. They evaluate their relationships not just with each other, but with their pasts – Chili’s mother and Nora’s kuia, both long dead, are on stage throughout the play, looking over their girls and offering up insight into their characters.

It doesn’t follow a linear pattern, jumping from moment to moment, back and forth between the “time before” and the “time after”. The relationships are developed, as each scene builds on the previous, relating each woman to her friends and to her family – Nora has run away from home, Riki is terrified of leaving the safety of her mother and the family home, and Chili’s mother passed away years ago. The relationships between these women are the core of the play, but it wouldn’t be accurate to describe this as ”feminist” in any way. It’s probably more accurate to refer to this as “real-life”, because what happens to Nora could happen to anybody.

Despite only being an hour long, Sightings is packed full of emotion – it’s a real rollercoaster ride, starting with pain, working through joy, the wild abandon of youth, back to the pain as it all hits home, before catharsis sets in as Nora accepts what has happened and how she can claim her life back as her own. Don’t watch this if you’re out for a good time – it’s deep, it’s gritty, it’s raw, and it will stay with you after you leave the theatre.