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Families. Sigh. We all have them, whether we like it or not, and quite often we do not like them. Playwright Lee-Anne Poole has done a wonderful job of capturing that love/hate relationship in her new work Splinters. It’s the story of Belle, a strong young woman who shattered her mother’s dreams when she came out as a lesbian, and who is now loathe to reveal that she’s in a relationship with a man. While Splinters has been described as a play about sexual identity, it can also be thought of as a play about how unrealistic expectations destroy relationships. Vanessa Walton-Bone is delightful (if delightful is a word you can use for a homophobe) as the grieving mother, and Lewis Wynne Jones imbues Belle’s brother with an easy charm. Stewart Legere and Stephanie MacDonald are also remarkable, conveying complicated emotions in an entirely accessible and believable manner. –Kate Watson