3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle is written by Alexandra and Kate Donnachie, but as the programme tells us, mainly Alexandra. They are sisters, and like all siblings it’s a relationship filled with love and united by a close bond, but there’s also that competitive streak which runs all the way through this deeply poignant piece.
Alexandra was diagnosed with an eating disorder, and the concept of the production is that Alexandra has finally decided to ask Kate what it was like for her during, what they refer to as ‘that time’. And so, this autobiographical show was born, albeit without Kate having agreed to appear in it.
At first glance 3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle appears to be a mishmash of ideas thrown together, there’s a song played on the guitar, a game of Mr & Mrs, they read each other’s diaries, all while telling the story of ‘that time’. Look a bit closer though, and you’ll see that this patchwork quilt is actually a deeper look at the psychological effects on both sisters.
The fact that this should be Kate’s story of ‘that time’ never really comes to fruition, and Alexandra’s story comes to the fore, but I suspect that’s the point. As both sisters are professional actors, the performance is natural and polished, and the audience feel drawn in to their fragmented story as various show and tell type items are produced from a brightly coloured box.
It’s a difficult subject to make work, yet here it does because there’s just enough comedy threaded through to keep the production light and informative. The connection between the sisters, and the story they have to tell makes 3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle a lip bitingly moving account of a family whose relationship has been tested, and survived.