Kennoway actor brings War of Two Halves to Tynecastle

Bryan at the memorial.
Bryan at the memorial.

A Kennoway actor is featuring in a unique play set at the home of his beloved football club.

Bryan Lowe (34) stars in A War of Two Halves, which tells the story of Heart of Midlothian’s 1914-15 team and McCrae’s Battalion.

The team had won 19 of 21 games and were on route to becoming league champions, when 13 of the players volunteered to join the famous battalion, which would later fight at the Somme.

Bryan stars as Alfie Briggs, a Hearts winger, who signed up and was injured during the first day of the Somme. He managed to recover and returned to Britain.

The performance is unique in that it is be hosted at Tynecastle, and is both a play and a tour of the stadium.

It is a dream come true for Bryan, a Hearts supporter, who was told the story of McCrae’s Battalion at an early age by his grandad.

“It’s a story that means a lot to the Hearts fans,” Bryan said.

“My grandad, who was an East Fife fan, also told me the story of the battalion.

“They were pioneers in letting players volunteer for the war.

“It’s a story a lot of Hearts supports and people in Edinburgh know. But I’m not sure how many people outside the football circles know the story.

“It feels right this year that we are telling the story.”

Securing the role is doubly special for Bryan, who last year weighed 24 stones.

Walking from Kennoway to Leven beach every day, Bryan managed to drop seven stone in a year.

“A year ago I probably wouldn’t have got the part because of my weight,” he said.

“I was 24 stone – I would have looked out of place.

“I’ve been working hard to lose weight and this feels like a reward for me.”

While Bryan has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe before, usually doing stand-up, he describes his role as the “biggest professional show at the Fringe”.

After the show comes to an end on August 19, Bryan will return to working on his stand up and writing a sitcom which he says has garnered some interest from the BBC.

War of Two Halves opened on Friday and will be running until August 19.

Performances take place four times per day.

For more information about the show, times, and tickets, visit tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/war-of-two-halves.