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EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Q&A- Kin

EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Q&A- Kin

BWW catches up with Max Dickins about bringing Kin to the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Tell us a bit about Kin.

Kin is a funny, tempestuous play about two long estranged sisters coming together on their father's death bed. When the only thing they have left in common disappears, is their relationship worth saving? This gripping story looks at what the words 'I love you' actually mean when you say them to your family.

How does it differ from other plays you have written?

I am known for writing monologues. So the obvious difference here is that it's a duologue. I also normally perform in my work, but as this is about two sisters that clearly isn't the case. (As much as I'd love to do it in drag.) This is the first time I've written for other people therefore. So that's been a good challenge. The actors are also both women in their forties, which was another leap. I could have written it for two brothers rather than two sisters. It would have explored similar themes. But there aren't enough good, meaty, complex roles for women full stop. With the problem especially acute for older actors. 'Be the change you want to see!' I thought. So here we are. I'm delighted with the results and can't wait to see my work performed by our brilliant actors: Abigail Burdess and Kate Alderton.

What was the inspiration for the play?

I have both a brother and a sister. We have a good relationship now, but it's been fraught in the past and so I wanted to draw on that experience. Siblings have such a unique relationship: love and hate are so tightly helixed together. And it isn't just simply rivalry. (Which no doubt exists.) It's more than that.

The psychotherapist Dorothy Rowe, an expert on sibling relationships, says the central cause of tension between siblings is each's ability to 'annihilate' the other person. In short, your sibling knows you so well that they know exactly what to say or do to destroy your sense of self in just a moment. It is this power that makes your sibling both your trusted friend and your feared enemy.

What do you hope audiences take away from Kin?

I hope they will realise that love, at its heart, is best understood as a verb. It is an activity: a set of things we do for other people. The words 'I love you' mean nothing without the behaviours that show this to be true. In writing the play I have certainly reflected on my own complacency towards my family relationships. I hope the audience do the same.

Are there plans for Kin beyond the Fringe?

I have just finished a national tour of my last play, 'The Man on the Moor.' So I would love to take Kin on the road too. Apart from that, who knows? Let's dare to dream: a West End transfer please!

Kin is at the Underbelly Cowgate - Belly Button from August 2nd- 26th (not 13th)

Further information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/kin


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