THE BROTHERS GENTLE by the company (SockMonkey). At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. July 10 at 8:30 pm, July 12 at 6:15 pm, July 13 at 10:30 pm, July 14 at 4:30 pm, July 15 at 5:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN
This folksy yet absurdist two-hander brings three touching interrelated coming-of-age stories to life.
Focusing on the relationship between headstrong Bertie (Scott Kuipers) and his anxious and introspective younger brother Samson (Marc Blanchard), the shows three well-crafted scenes drop in at different harrowing moments in their youth: a childhood catastrophe of losing a pet lizard, an awkward teenaged vent session after an embarrassing night, and one set later while gathered by their fathers hospital bed.
Each combines the pace, humour and endless banter of Pinter or Ionesco, but within down-to-Earth white-picket-fence Will Eno-like scenarios.
Its a match that might seem odd on paper, but Kuipers and Blanchards cute and affable dynamic makes it work. The show uses these moments to explore the limits of innocence (white is the prominent design theme) and the special bond between brothers.
Director Anthony Perpuse nicely accentuates the peculiarities of their relationship, which flexes under their snippy back-and-forth needling, but holds steady in the moments that matter.