Burying Your Brother in the Pavement

Jack Thorne

Eagle House School

SpaceTriplex

From 08 August 2016 to 13 August 2016

Rating: **

Review by Liam Blain

Drama in School is always an interesting concept where criteria has to be met and acting perfected in order to make the grade. Unfortunately, with so much terminology flying around the classroom, a great piece can easily become overladen with theatre glossary terms and often mask the production’s true potential.

This is certainly the case with Eagle House School’s production of Burying Your Brother in the Pavement. Brecht, physical theatre and puppetry are all thrown into the mix creating a slightly confused directorial concept that at times takes away from the story at hand.

Written by Jack Thorne as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival in 2008, the piece tells the story of Tom after the death of his older brother, Luke. Born only ten months apart, Tom is sure that Luke disliked him and that there were no secrets between the two when he died.

However, as Tom decides to camp out on the kerbside at the location of his brother’s demise, he soon begins to realise that Luke may have had a more complicated life than he ever expected. Creating discourse surrounding sexuality, class and forgiveness, the piece is perfect in getting young people talking about the modern world.

All of the child actors are willing to lose their inhibitions and really do put their all into the performance. However, at times the technical side worked to the detriment of the hard-working students. Odd soundscapes, very loud music and unnecessary lighting changes all over-complicate what could have been a beautifully formed, minimal piece of theatre.

Bringing a youth production to the Edinburgh Fringe is always a mammoth amount of work and the effort put into this production is evident from the outset. It is just unfortunate that this time round too much work didn’t reap the rewards deserved.