Theatre review: Brothers

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: There’s an authentic crackle of laddish energy to this new play that mixes bursts of physical theatre and music in an attempt to raise awareness of suicide among young men.

Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302)

***

Five student flatmates taunt and make fun of each other, partially out of affection but also in a bid to establish the dominant personality. Gavin, who fancies himself a ladies man and DJ, wants to be the alpha male but his sudden pivots from friendship to casual cruelty sometimes feel forced – as if scripted merely to cause unfortunate drama, which proves to be the case.

There’s lots to like here. All the cast are good and each is given his moment in the spotlight by Piers-Cottee Jones’ script, which is flecked with real humour and understanding. The five characters are finely sketched. Each hides his own problem but rather than willingly discuss it with friends, they hide it with spite disguised as banter.

It’s undoubtedly a sincere attempt by 203 Theatre – which is collecting funds for mental health charities CALM and MIND – to get people talking but it doesn’t always add up to the sum of its frequently impressive elements.

Until 28 August. Today 12:10pm.