The Dogstone and Nasty Brutish and Short

The Dogstone and Nasty Brutish and Short

This double bill, part of the jamboree of new theatre on a small scale laid on by the NTS and Traverse, looks very much a boy thing. Andy Duffy’s Nasty Brutish and Short deals with the deteriorating relationship between two brothers in a Glasgow tenement flat, while Kenny Lindsay’s The Dogstone speaks of the relationship between a father and son in the pleasant climes of Oban.

‘It’s a narrative that starts at its very end, but the rest of the story is chronological,’ explains Lindsay of The Dogstone. ‘At his youngest, when he’s about eight, the son absolutely worships the father, but as the story goes on, we see them growing apart.’

He adds: ‘The mother is very much part of the story, although we never see her. You get the impression that the son blames the father for his separation from his mother, and drinking comes into that. But whether his drinking was what separated them, or he drinks because they separated is something you might have to decide.’

Lindsay’s piece should act in stark contrast to the grittier feel of Duffy’s, yet both have a sense of crisis in the modern family about them. Each, too, might be expected to detail the strains that growing up and away from each other create. ‘I think there’s a point in most people’s lives, usually in their teens where they can really hate their parents. It’s actually simply a part of growing up for most of us,’ says Lindsay of his young Highlander.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 6–Sat 15 Nov

The Dogstone/ Nasty, Brutish and Short

  • 3 stars

Double bill of new plays as part of the National Theatre of Scotland Traverse Debuts season. Dominic Hill directs works by first time playwrights Kenny Lindsay and Andy Duffy.

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