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EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- The Older Brothers' Almanac

EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- The Older Brothers' Almanac

About the show:

From NYC comes a darkly comic guide for brothers everywhere: how to teach, protect and permanently traumatise each other. All (almost) techniques applicable to Sisterhood. Free beer for siblings who come to the show together! Features classic techniques and time-honoured rituals such as The Headlock, The Dead Leg and Psychological Torture, plus Historical Accounts and Science!

Why bring it to Edinburgh?

The cart came before the horse with this show. When I visited the festival for the first time last year I had no plans for the OBA. After my first full day at the festival, though, I found myself sitting in the rain, drinking beer with a bunch of people, half of whom I didn't know. We began chatting amiably about the shows we'd just seen and before long we were raising our voices and shaking our fists and clapping each other on the back and buying each other drinks. The topic of conversation never left what we'd seen that day. Everyone cared as much as I did! These shows (I managed to see five in my two day visit) had scenic design made of cardboard and props that might have come out of garbage cans but that didn't mean anything to us.

Those plays were the most important thing in the world at that moment. I've been lucky enough to work on theater that had huge budgets with seasoned professional artists but I've never felt passion and hope and love of theater like that before. I decided right there that I was going to build a show and bring it. So there was no question of taking the show to Edinburgh: Edinburgh is really the whole point.

What sets it apart from other shows at the Fringe

We pretty sure no other show at the festival delves into the horror and joy of being sibling quite like The Older Brothers' Almanac. Our play explores sibling love and revulsion on both micro and macro levels. It is at once an anthropological investigation of brotherhood through the ages and an intimate look at brotherhood in the US in 1994. It is also the only play that will make you gag and feel pangs of longing at the same time. We're also fairly confident that the OBA is the only play can be described as No Exit and The Wonder years having a grungy theater baby.

This play started out as a fluffy show about a pair of meathead brothers hurting each other. Over the last year, as we did countless rewrites and started playing around with design elements, the play reached out in unseen directions: got darker and sweeter. And now the show itself follows that trajectory: it begins in stupid comedy then reaches out for you.

Also, Zach is one of my favorite actors alive today but about six years ago he chose another career, got another degree and is currently working a real 9-5 job. When I brought this project to him (I never imagined anybody else playing this part) he set about earning overtime to make this trip possible. Over the last seven months he has earned enough overtime to take the month of August off. Let that sink in for a moment. He has earned more than 300 hours of overtime. Everybody makes sacrifices to do theater but that is exceptional. It has been a huge motivator for me to refine the show- if he's giving that much, I can't take any breaks.

Who would you recommend comes to see you?

Anyone who had a sibling growing up or wishes they did. Anyone who laughs when people talk about that time they were locked in the attic by their brother or dared to eat bugs by their sister. Anyone who was a teenager in the early nineties.

Are there any other shows you're hoping to catch at the festival?

Im going to start by seeing "Obfuscation", "Whore-A Kids Play", "13 and not Pregnant", "The B*easts", "The Man on the Moor" and "Murder She Didn't Write" and then literally see as much theater as I possibly can.

Timings and ticket information for The Older Brothers' Almanac are available on the edfringe website.

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