As you get older you can get too concerned with your own life to take the time for those you should see… The Best Brothers is about an estranged family who haven’t kept close. When they do get together at Christmas there’s usually one-upmanship as the two brothers try to get approval from their mother about their lifestyles, partners, jobs and social status.
“The Best Brothers is a dark, black comedy,” said Johan Walraven, who plays older brother Hamilton. “It’s about how we deal with the death of a loved one [and] the organisation that comes with that: unpacking history, having to write the obituary, how to run the funeral service. It’s not always an easy process. It’s funny, which is good when you’re dealing with difficult subject matter. Funerals can be very sad, sometimes that emotion can expose itself in laughter and jokes. We relieve ourselves of the tension by having a laugh so we don’t get sucked too deep down in the darkness.”
What the brothers find important in life differs, and sibling rivalry comes about when they are forced to deal with the death together, with conflict arising around how they each perceive the other to be handling the situation.
Younger brother Kyle is gay and his partner isn’t approved of by his brother or mother. “Hopefully there will be a section of the audience who will relate to being gay in the family unit and will find bits that ring true and can see themselves being represented well,” said Walraven.
“The dialogue is very natural, very quick and witty, it clips along at a nice pace, there’s always something to engage with, it’s not too languid.The Best Brothers is a very on the front foot piece of theatre,” Walraven concluded. (MS)
April 13–30, Tues-Sat 8pm. Old 505 Theatre, 5 Eliza Street, Newtown. $25-$35. Tickets & info: old505theatre.com
BY MEL SOMERVILLE