Theatre review: Moon River at the Pleasance Theatre
Examination of old age is a drama that stays with you, writes Jenisa Altink-Thumbadoo
Set in a Chingford pensioners’ home, Seiriol Davies’ first full-length script is an insightful examination of the concept of being old.
Moon River is inspired by the writer’s experience of the world of bingo halls, lunch clubs and tea dances – a world in which he immersed himself to gain a real understanding of what life is like for the over-75s.
The performers span a wide range of ages, encouraging the audience to suspend their pre-conceptions about the elderly and adding depth to the characters.
Julia Voce is convincing as 87-year-old Glad, who believes herself to be the only sane one trapped amongst a delightful menagerie of personalities and their foibles: righteous Sandy; mute Esther; glamourpuss Ingrid craving that next sherry; livewire Mary fantasising about the next shag and the endearing Ron who simply unplugs his hearing aid and embraces his journey towards the unknown.
You may also want to watch:
As the play progresses, the shaky foundations of this sanity are exposed and Glad’s fragile mental state culminates in a surreal and harrowing climax. The visual effects in this dramatic piece are worth a special mention for their role in conveying her chaotic cerebral universe.
Initially, one may feel that Moon River is let down by its haphazard storytelling, but the narrative works well in communicating the oscillation between mundane and mayhem.
- 1 Flooding recovery begins after evening of chaos
- 2 Hundreds gather for Tony Eastlake funeral in Islington
- 3 'Extreme' noise complaint as 150 gather for Islington party
- 4 Statue of Philip Noel-Baker replaced in Islington after 35 years
- 5 Upcoming Hackney and Islington road and rail disruptions
- 6 Meet the owner of the Camden Passage shop window where nothing is for sale
- 7 New Lidl to open in Finsbury Park's Arts Building next week
- 8 Thunder and lightning could return to London on Monday
- 9 Summer in the city: 5 Things to do in Islington this weekend
- 10 Callum Chambers could be Arsenal's starting right-back
It was a production that stayed with me long after I left the theatre and, following this poignant debut, I will be awaiting another Seiriol Davies script with interest. Three stars.
* Moon River was at the Pleasance in Carpenters Mews, N7.