Sunday, 7 June 2009
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: The Moon The Moon
The Moon The Moon
Southwark Playhouse, London
Stay and let them heal you. Or go with the Moon and live. That’s the choice for The Man in Unlimited Theatre’s enigmatic and compelling production of The Moon The Moon which is brought to the Southwark Playhouse this week.
The Man, suffering from a profound trauma, is found by a stranger, aptly named The Older Man, on the edge of the water front of the Firth holding a plastic bag full of roast dinner, about to commit suicide. The stranger, alongside his companion The Young Woman, take him in, seemingly eager to help him and cure him of his problems. We see what at first seems like good will, soon morphs in to abuse and incarceration before our eyes. It is here, in his imprisoned state, that he is visited by The Moon, looking uncannily like his dead wife, who tempts and wills him to follow her toward redemption and peace.
The play is beautifully poetic, with the script ebbing and flowing like the tide itself while contrasting brilliantly with the cold, hard actions inflicted by the tormenting couple. It is this juxtaposition that is most interesting and forces us to question what is genuine reality when our own comes in to question and, crucially, who decides what is right for us when we don’t seem to know ourselves?
With recurring references to storms and rain, you are never far from the sense of the ruggedness and wilderness that surrounds them and the emotion that lies within all of us. In contrast the set, like a cold clinical cell, seems almost like a representation of society itself and its vain attempts to tidy and compartmentalise chaotic emotion.
All four cast members shine brilliantly in this production, creating a sense of sadness and desperation without becoming too emotive. The pathos is equalled with humour and tragedy and a special nod needs to be made to the music which was both moving and stunningly performed.
The play is complicated as it attempts to discuss varying and difficult themes within 90 minutes, containing a plot full of twists and turns that are never fully explained. But, because of the plays beauty, this is not important. What is interesting here is the plays’ touching and subtle discussion of love, death, remorse, and the messiness of real human emotions, and ultimately how we use them when it is of most importance.
The Moon The Moon runs until 20th June