Brotherly Love

4 Stars

****

Brotherly Love is a contemporary comedy drama, exploring in a powerful way the difficult relationship between two brothers. Ian (Richard Rycroft), the elder brother, could not be more different from his younger brother Barry (David Schaal). He has had all the advantages of a public school education and is now a successful barrister, whilst Barry attended his local state school. After leaving school, he was a drifter embracing drugs and alcohol. They are now both in middle age.

There is a third character, Carla (Jan Hirst). She is a solicitor and Ian’s partner after the failure of his first marriage. The play opens with Barry bursting into Ian and Carla’s home. He is now in recovery after a period of rehab. His purpose is to see Ian and apologise for an event which split the brothers apart. Carla is at home awaiting Ian’s return and preparing for a dinner party. Although they have only briefly met once at the funeral of the brothers’ father, their conversation is light and humorous. Carla is amused to find out that the brothers played together in a punk band back in the 1970’s.

Ian returns and the action takes on a darker tone. Bit by bit, revelations of their past lives surface. The play grips as the tension builds as we wonder if the brothers can put the past behind them and their relationship can become a positive one.

What makes this play most appealing is the high quality of acting of the three members of the cast. They work so well together giving their characters a convincing realism.

Reviewed by Ben

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House: 170

4 to 28 August 2011 (not 17)

17.00 – 18.00

Fringe Programme Page Number: 247

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