REVIEWS:BROTHERS OF THE BRUSH

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The Independent Culture
BROTHERS OF THE BRUSH

Theatre Workshop (venue 20), 34 Hamilton Place (0131-226 5425), 7.45pm; to Sept 2

What Clifford Odets did for taxi drivers, young Irish dramatist Jimmy Murphy attempts to do for the painting and decorating trade in this story of unions, brotherhood and spattered overalls. Barred from his local pub and forced by insanitary conditions to improvise with empty paintpots, Heno figures that he and his comrades are being cruelly exploited by Martin, their Suzuki jeep-driving, mobile phone-toting boss. Only Lar, who has spent a year out of work and is soon to be made foreman, disagrees. "You'll just ruin it here for everyone else," he tells Heno, before being crushed by the protest drama logic of the piece. Murphy's writing thinly veils its message but is always sharp, witty and well observed. And while the Dublin accents are a little rickety, the confrontation and conflict are superbly managed in Wiseguise Production's robust staging. John O'Mahony

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