Featured Post

Travelin' Through: Broken Toys @CervantesTheatr

Things are a bit different at the Cervantes Theatre when you see Broken Toys. You enter through the upstairs dressing rooms and go down to the theatre. It is a circuitous route, much like the story of Marion. You end up in the same place but have taken a different journey. And like what the old prostitute said. It's not the work but the stairs. And there before you is the theatre, but not entirely as I recall it. It feels like an intimate cabaret venue with tables and a shiny stage. And there we are introduced to Marion. Marion grew up in a small town during the Franco regime. A place where looking a bit different could make you the subject of gossip and a threat to your life. And despite being assigned male at birth and the attempts of family and father figures, she was an outsider in her town.  And so Marion sets off on a journey to the city. And in the shadows, she finds a place to hide. But with guidance from drag performer Dorian Delacroix begins to find her voice. Her journe

Salty romance: Salt-Water Moon @finborough

Salt-Water Moon, currently playing at the Finborough Theatre, is like watching a feel-good romantic comedy. Albeit one set in Newfoundland in 1926. You may know where the piece is heading. After all, it is part of a series of plays with the same characters by playwright David French. But it’s the journey of getting there that matters. There’s a tenderness to the story brought to life by two charismatic performances that will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. And not just because of the necessity to sit five abreast on the Finborough’s bench seats. 

It’s a clear night in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland, a quiet and remote fishing village, in 1926. Mary Snow is stargazing, waiting for her fiancé to return. However, she is interrupted by the unexpected return of Jacob Mercer. He had left her to go to Toronto a year earlier without even a goodbye, and he seemed determined to win her back. 

What then unfolds from small talk and idle chatter about the stars is a battle of wills against a backdrop of an isolated town that still is feeling the effects of its participation in the First World War. The economic effects of the war have forced Mary to seek an engagement to give her financial security. Jacob probably left to seek his fortune in Toronto. 

But here we find them back together for one night only. There is an urgency in this piece underscored by circumstance, the imminent return of Mary’s suitor and the performances. Joseph Potter is a charismatic and endearing  Jacob with his alternating charm, serenading and scrappy manner. Bryony Miller is a poised Mary. But believable in her economic position and ability to offer the 1920s equivalent of a  devastating put-down. 

Mim Houghton’s simple production of lightbulbs, a bench and mulch, with Neill Brinkworth’s lighting, is evocative of the summer house in Coley’s Point. You feel like you are in the garden with the pair rather than upstairs from a closed pub on a busy London road.

As a piece that captures a time and place and a spirit of troubled young love, it’s an entertaining opener for the new year.

Directed by Peter Kavanagh, Salt-Water Moon is having its UK premiere at the Finborough Theatre and is playing now until 28 January.


Production photos by Lucy Hayes

Popular posts from this blog

Opera and full frontal nudity: Rigoletto

Fantasies: Afterglow @Swkplay

Ramin Karimloo: the unstoppable beast