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The Moon The Moon at Southwark Playhouse

Elizabeth Peasley

The Moon The Moon is billed as a love story, about lost love but also love re-found. It is also billed as sad but filled with hope, love and optimism.

The writers Clare Duffy, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe state that they are offering the audience a story with a multitude of versions of reality – it is up to each individual to decide on their version.

They may achieve this (I did not make a survey) although my version of reality from this exceptionally strong drama was rather depressing. I saw sadness, love, pessimism, brutality, terror and horror.

The setting is constant in this expertly staged drama; a grey box like stage resembling a prison, in fact it is a cellar of a pub near a river. Appliances such as a fridge are concealed in the flat walls which when touched open up as doors. The atmospheric background music has the effect of seducing one to keep hoping for something positive and redemptive. There is a large high cut out circle always ready for the entrances of the lady of the moon.

In the opening scenes we hear the moon (ie the woman who has been lost, played by Helen Cassidy) say "Without you I'll die"; this is a sentiment which is constant as is "Do you really want to help me? Then why are you hurting me?" from the man (played by Jon Spooner).

The older man (played by Tim Chipping) and the Young Woman (played by Suzanne Ahmet) we realise quite soon into the play are both predators with a bound history. Suspense is expertly created as these two approach their held man. They seem helpful at first, but then progress with creepy, harsh, cruel, exploitative actions finally culminating in a surgical strike of momentous outcome. Full circle of love at a price.

All who like strong drama, to be puzzled, shocked, provoked into thought (maybe even disgust?) may appreciate this piece.

Look for the optimism and let me know.

Buy tickets for The Moon The Moon

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