5-29 August, 16.35
It's always a joy to unearth a playwright of real promise on the Fringe and, on the basis of this debut outing, we should be hearing a lot more from Clara Brennan in the coming years.
Set in a small rural town, the story centres on the fall-out of domestic violence on a working class family. At its head is Bud, a proud but deeply flawed patriarch whose gay son Christian returns home after an absence of eight years.
Christian now works for a property developer, and has come to argue for a new housing development in the town. Identifying his son as a traitor and a “vulture” from the city, Bud is determined to block the proposal, but soon finds himself confronting some dark demons from his past.
Brennan's writing is sharply observed, economic and tightly plotted, and she's backed by a stellar cast led by Roger Ringrose as Bud, Anna Kirke as long-suffering wife Paula and Gunnar Cauthery as Christian. Although it stutters slightly to begin with, once it finds its feet this feels rather like watching Arthur Miller transported to the English countryside.