TheatreNewbie | 23rd August 2011 – 10:36 am
Outrageous – in both a good and disturbing way
The person who gave me my flier told me the play was a comedy until it wasn’t and guaranteed to make me talk about it after I left the theatre. I was sceptical, but after seeing the play now understand what she meant. The theme of the play is rather dark, but the story is extremely well-written… it somehow finds a way to make you laugh out loud numerous times while respectfully & honestly exploring the horror that is sexual assault. The play explores many difficult topics. The acting by the three characters is outstanding -> Alan somehow manages to be both charming and creepy so you find yourself liking a psychopath; Manya draws you in from the opening monologue and takes you on her emotional rollercoaster that captivates you until the very last moments (there are even parts you want to look away, yet find you cannot); Gregory emphasizes the emotional peaks and valleys of the play perfectly by both making you laugh and feeling like you got punched in the stomach. Both acts build to different but equally shocking climaxes… the play is 1hr 30 minutes but feels more like 20 minutes. I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed this play! Definitely a must-see.
danny6547 | 22nd August 2011 – 10:26 pm
Powerful, memorable and disturbing
After reading the synopsis, this may not be the first thing you’d think of seeing in the midst of one of the worlds biggest comedy festivals, but if youre willing to take a chance on something completely different, Blood Moon will not disappoint. Clearly, the heavy tone will not suit everyone. But the theme of the play is stated in the opening monologue so frankly that it hits the audience like a gut-punch: you’ll know almost immediately whether the disturbing happenings portrayed here are too much for you. And if they’re not, then prepare for a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and occasionally stomach-churning tale. Personally I was enwrapped by the shows unflinching attitude towards the events it was based upon. The pain that motivated it is often palpable, leaving you wanting to turn away but unable to. The lead character excellently switches between the picture of innocence and child-like openness to bitterness and vengefulness in the second act. The former performance may fail to resonate in some simply because it is so naive which, combined with Manya’s beauty and out-going persona, makes it hard to believe that this 19-year old would still be so slow to realise the intentions of Alan. But the pain of the loss of innocence is an almost universal one, and the slow build-up towards the inevitable through the first act is all the more dreadful for anyone still remembering theirs. The second act begins with an intriguing encounter between Alan and his former victim: she appears now to be attracted to him, and invites him and her uncle around for a meal. Really don’t want to say too much about this scene because when the big finale hits, it really hits and its well worth the suspense. Manya’s refusal to be a victim will leave a conflict in the viewer that wont soon be forgotten. The play is deeply thought-provoking and certainly had myself and a friend debating it afterwards. The dialogue is mostly believable and natural, you could believe that Manya’s uncle in particular has been bantering with his old friend for many years. Alan’s part too finds a fine balance between sophisticated and creepy. There is room for improvement however, one qualm being that I noticed the actor playing Alan was shaking slightly several times (nerves perhaps?) which doesn’t fit the character’s suave persona. A bit more practice and he’d be genuinely creepy! The stand-out performance was the lead however, Manya’s pain and anger in the second act were undeniable. So to wrap up this review that’s far far longer than I ever intended, Blood Moon isn’t for everyone but if you think you can handle the material then catch this little gem while you still can. Situated in the vault, which can be hard to find even by Edinburgh’s standards, you’d be lucky to stumble upon it, so book a ticket and make a dinner date with Manya instead. And, uh, bon appetite :p