Krule and Finn are two brothers who, we learn, have escaped their traveller family in search of a better life. We find them in the dilapidated, grungy surroundings of a women’s lavatory in a service station. Hana Sofia’s set is filthy to the extreme: graffiti-filled, bottle-strewn, a dirt-encrusted sink, a toilet with a gaping hole in the side. Service stations weren’t this bad even in the 1970s.
22-year-old Krule – a strong performance from Iwan Bond – is naturally the leader, balancing optimism with realism as he plots the pair’s possible future. 14-year-old Finn is a meaty adolescent played by Evan L Barker, who also wrote the play. He spends his time playing with toy cars, pretending to be an airplane, and quizzing his older brother about the realities of sex and relationships. All the while, Krule fiddles with a Sony Discman. (For the millennials reading this, the Discman was a portable CD player, the precursor of the iPod.)
Neither Krule nor Finn can read, although the older brother is able to recognise some letters: when they discover a giant promotional cheque, it’s Krule who explains what it is, pointing to the pound sign and misinterpreting the o’s as zeroes. ‘I thought zeroes were bad,’ Finn points out. ‘These are good zeroes,’ Krule counters.
It’s a 30 minute show that includes a lot of physicality, ably directed by Andrew Krueger, as the boys play football, tussle, dance and throw each other around the space. The use of movement neatly punctuates the dialog, bringing dramatic conflict into an otherwise static situation.
There are many questions raised here. Why are they holed up in this lavatory? How do they get the money to buy their vapes? Why is Krule fiddling with a Discman? What do they do for food? And where will they go next?
Sadly, none of these questions are answered. We meet the brothers at an indeterminate point in their lives, and leave them in much the same place. Nothing has happened, nothing has moved on. The meandering script doesn’t progress our understanding of these boys’ lives, and there’s no dramatic conclusion; after half an hour it just stops. The small insight we gain into their existence doesn’t compensate for the lack of dramatic drive. It’s a play that goes nowhere – much like the lives of the two protagonists.
Written by: Evan L Barker
Produced by: The Shed
The show has now finished its current run.