ORPHANS is, quite simply, a modern classic that's sure to leave a lasting impression on those who see it.
Lyle Kessler's play is funny, thoughtful, touching and quietly compelling, and a five star script gets the five start treatment here. For me, this is one of the best productions the Garrick has ever done.
Treat, a violent pickpocket, is both mum and dad to his younger brother Philip, who he obsessively shields from an outside world he sees as teeming with dangers for him. Treat polices his every move and his every thought.
He then suggests they kidnap a drunken Harold, a wealthy businessman he lures back to their run down house in Philadelphia. But Harold can buy and sell the pair of them. He's clever, quick witted and has a first class degree in subtle manipulation and it soon become clear whose really in charge of the situation.
I really enjoyed the way in which Kessler, with sublime subtlety, develops the relationship between Harold and Philip, the later trapped in an eternal childhood, thanks to the domineering and volatile Treat. Deep down both crave the love and stability of a family life.
Under the direction of Julie Cunningham and Duncan Battman, Peter Brassington as Treat, Aidan Burgess as Philip and Stuart Tipping as the calm and cerebral Harold deliver the sort of performances that make you care deeply about their characters and inwardly ache for a happy ending.
I first saw Orphans around 20 years ago and fell in love with this brilliant play then. If this isn't a sell out it will be a travesty.
* Until December 9. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - *****