Kin (4 stars)

This article is from 2018


Abigail Burdess / credit. Kevin Murphy

Riveting new writing exploring the complex nature of sibling love

Written by Max Dickins, Kin is a two-person play about a pair of sisters, brought together for the first time in 20 years by their father's imminent death. While the father remains absent, just a garish jacket draped on a chair and the sounds of breathing from next door, the estranged sisters face off across a dining table.

Actors Abigail Burdess and Kate Alderton are excellent as the Chapman siblings, in turns tender, bitter and furious as they grapple with different versions of their shared history, as well as the realities of the adult lives they have chosen for themselves. Long-held resentments contrasted with genuinely affecting moments between the pair, like the joyous remembering of a shared dance routine complete with very literal dance moves, help create an intricate dichotomy between sibling rivalry and sisterly affection.

The artfully-crafted script boldly interrogates assumptions of what it means to be a family. The pace is rushed in places, with Dickins' vivid musings on the nature of love slightly lost in the emotionally charged atmosphere. With dark comic flashes to break the tension, Kin is a taught and riveting examination of the complex nature of sibling love and the lasting fall out of childhood experience.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug, 4pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).


  • 4 stars

Max Dickins and Something for the Weekend A dying father. Two estranged sisters reunite after 20 years. One night to bury the hatchet. In an airless room over a single night, they talk it out. When the only thing they have left in common disappears, is their relationship worth saving? Written by Max Dickins (The Man on…