Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Yellow Moon" - October 2006

As a novel and entertaining way of telling a story, this performance by TAG really hits a sweet spot, but the story of teenage runaways doesn’t bring us anything new or any surprises along the way. And while it claims to raise serious issues such as self-harming and celebrity obsession we aren’t given any real feel for the impact or resulting consequences. They seem to be dropped in as “issues” without the play really having anything to say about them.

But none of this detracts from an entertaining 80 minutes or so where the format of dual narrators really drives the pace along. This works marvellously well when used in a “Crime Reconstruction” style commentry, although not quite so well when used to convey the internal thoughts of our runaways Lee & Leila. All 4 cast members perform well and succeed in bringing about a good level of tension as the play reaches a critical “will he / won’t he” moment. They also do remarkably well to perform in the Citizens Circle Studio with full lights up making it even more intense than usual.

Kudos to the writer for avoiding the temptation of an obvious potential plot twist which I won’t spoil here, but which is tired and overused. But I can’t help but feel that the writing lets the side down a little here - but it’s not a problem with the dialogue, it's back to the “issues” again I’m afraid - they just don’t add anything and I’m sure the play would be better dropping one or two of them and doing the remaining ones in more depth. Great performances and direction make this work but its despite rather than because of the writing.

Oh, and it was nice to see a number of the cast of “Mary Stuart” which is playing on the main stage in to see the performance.