Review: The Brother's Suit

Photo: The Brother's Suit. By Peter McDougall

Directed by David MacLennan

Featuring Robbie Coltrane

You can pick your friends but you can?t pick your relatives and just because two men are brothers doesn?t mean they have to like each other. The play is the second in a trilogy and again deals with tensions within a family.

Tam returns from London to be at the bedside of his dying father. He had rowed with Junior over the matter of a blue suit, a prized possession. Junior had pawned the suit to get money for a date with his first girlfriend. Tam had left home and the brothers had not seen each other for twenty-five years.

Like the biblical story of the younger son who stayed at home whilst his sibling went off to enjoy the pleasures of the world, Junior has always resented Tam?s place in his father?s affection. He sees Tam as rich and successful, happily married with a family who love him, whilst he has missed out. But all is not as it seems.

The strange newspaper seller who can predict the next day's events knows what is in store for Tam.

Peter Mcdougall's play hooks the audience from the first minute with a mix of Glasgow humour, painful emotion and earthy language. Robbie Coltrane as Tam and William McBain as Junior are totally believable as the brothers, slipping back into the same relationship minutes after they meet, but the newspaper vendor played by Stewart Porter almost became the star of the show.

The packed house proves that West Enders appreciate good theatre and the new season of A Play, a Pie and a Pint has not failed them yet.

review by Christina Byrne