ORPHANS grow up and can be affected by their upbringing.

This is well illustrated in Lyle Kessler’s play Orphans at the Garrick’ Lauriston Studio this week.

The orphans in question are brothers Phillip and Treat.

The most damaged of the two, Treat is outstandingly played by Peter Brassington who creates an unstable monster who spends his time aggressively robbing people.

His brother, Phillip, (Aidan Burgess), is affected in a different way. Encouraged by his bullying brother, he never goes out for fear of catching a bug.

Then a third orphan, Harold, (Stuart Tipping) changes their lives completely and acts like a father figure to them.

In a fine display of acting, the three completely different characters, react to one another yet are totally dependent on each other – at least the brothers are.

Peter gives an uninhibited display of uncontrolled anger which, in Act Two results in a fight between the siblings.

This is because the timid Phillip suddenly gains courage thanks to the tutorship of Harold. Aidan Burgess cleverly transforms his character in response.

Stuart Tipping’s Harold helps the boys in more ways than they can imagine by giving them tough love.

This play mixes humour with tears. One of the funniest scenes is when the three of them re-enact an incident on a bus.

The tears come at the end.

Co-directors Julie Cunningham and Duncan Battman ensure it is the success it is.

Orphans is at the Garrick’s Lauriston Studio Theatre until Saturday. December 9. For tickets, telephone 0161 928 1677 or book online. Star rating: * * * * *