Reviewed by Regina Su
Two brothers, who don't see eye to eye, are brought together by a family tragedy- the passing of their mother. They bicker over everything, no stone is left unturned. 'The Best Brothers' is fresh take on the old tale of the chaotic aftermath following the death of a loved one.
With only two actors and under ten props, the set and production showed versatility and resourcefulness. We watch as the characters navigate the awkward waters of family reunions and old regrets. Slowly, the plot unfolds to illuminate past troubles that probably would've been better off left in the past. Together, they come to grips with who they are, and what they mean to each other, warts and all. This is a tale of acceptance, more than anything else.
There were moments of poignant poetry scattered throughout the play. Interwoven through the funeral process is a storyline that follows the consciousness of the deceased mother. These were monologues of hers boasted a touch of absurdism, as the actors portrayed her, voicing her musings. These monologues were lyrical in their flow- they observed the aesthetic beauty of the brothers’ conflict, adding backstory and depth to their decisions.
The plot had complexities as their shared past was revealed to us. The plot turned and tension increased right up until the last moments, keeping the audience guessing what would come next. The actors grappled lengthy dialogue, and brought empathy to feuding brothers. They kept us engaged with slapstick and light humour, even when confronting the darkest of themes. Their unresolved issues regarding marital struggles, sexuality and family ties were all resurfaced in a whimsical way, that ultimately celebrated family.
This is a compelling production showing at the Old 505 Eliza. ‘The Best Brothers’ sports high intensity banter, quick repartee and slick observations about families in crisis. Oh, and a dog. This play had something for everyone.