Complex layers of grief explored in play about loss of twin sister

Clare Marcie has no personal memories of her twin sister who died when she was only four months old.
Thirty years on, the former Nelson actor has made an autobiographical play about her journey to connect with the emotions around the loss of her sister, Aisling.

The world premiere of her one-woman playTwinless takes place at Aucklands Basement Theatre next week.

Set in her family bach at Lake Rotoiti, in Nelson Lakes National Park, it sees Marcie with a box of old documents, a collection of second hand memories and the ever present twinkling of unfamiliar grief.


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She said she had only really explored her emotions and the information relating to her sibling in recent years, with her grandmothers memories triggering her desire to connect with the loss.


Its a complex form of grief and theres a lot of emotion I have information and memories of my family but no personal memories of my twin sister.

She (her grandmother) obviously has memories of her own so it was a bit like okay, I want to spend some time on this and pin it all down.

Multi-media aspects help tell the story, featuring home video footage, voice over, movement and a banging tune or two.

Developed with the support of Auckland Theatre Company and ONEONESIX (Whangarei) Marcie wrote and performs the show, directed by award-winning filmmaker Harriett Maire.

Sound design by Phil Lawrence-Jones conveyed the many layers of the story and create atmosphere and emotion, from voice overs to recreating the sounds of the lake setting.

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A former Nelson College for Girls student, Marcie spent five years in the UK before returning to New Zealand in early 2018.

I love home video footage on stage when its appropriate and a show that comes from this kind of place I think it gives you an insight thats quite unique and because the footage comes from the early 90s, its a style you dont get any more.

In brharapg Twinless to the stage, Marcie said she hoped to illuminate the kaleidoscopic nature of loss.

Its coming from a deeper part of myself, for sure.

Theres a lot to navigate grief is so many emotional experiences mixed together it can be strangely energetic one day and lethargic the next.

A former Nelson College for Girls student and graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, Marcie trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

She spent five years in Britain before returning to New Zealand in early 2018. Her solo show What Would Kanye Do? received development funding from Creative Scotland before debuting at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 where it was shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award.

While her craft has taken her around the world, Marcie said Nelson held a special place in her heart and hoped to bring Twinless there in due course.

Ive still got some friends down there who are doing some cool things in theatre for a smaller place Nelson has always felt very creative to me.

Twinless takes place at Aucklands Basement Theatre next week, March 23 - 27, starting at 6:30pm.

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