There is something masterful at play here, a beautiful gothic splendour lurking just under the surface of this dark brooding almost hyper-feminist tale, set among the eery gloom of a manor house on the moors. Never one to take itself to seriously, The Moors also offers moments of brilliantly timed humour of the darkest and most wicked kind.
A work that showcases a skilful play of words more than anything else, penned by playwright Jen Silverman, a name to watch out for in future. Taking these words from the page and bringing them life through performance is bought by the hand of Director Stephen Nicolazzo, who in himself is a creative force to be reckoned with. The pairing of these two creatives in respective roles, have made for a work that is unique, obscure yet telling.
The Moors- a frightening desolate place, act as a constant reference point throughout, tapping into a sense of isolation so often attributed to our own vast and wild landscapes found close to home. With further parallels being drawn through the direct use of popular music, and other modern references dotted amongst this; this is at once a simple yet resplendently detailed work.
Some of the more thought provoking and deeply metaphoric passages appear in scenes shared between the single male character playing the role of the great loping mastif, and his friend the moor hen, between these two unlikely companions, we are introduced to the concept of god, and what physical form this figure may assume. While their relationship follows the trajectory of the over arching narrative, in final scenes the despair and entrapment felt between these two packs the most powerful a punch.
As for the rest of the cast and characters, the ensemble is held together by some stella performances. The dominate fixture, the time keeper, and the central pivot of which this work centres lures the governance to the household through heated written exchange. As this collective begins to unravel, the blossoming romance between these two female characters leads to untimely demise at the hand of deranged and murderous sibling. Away from the heightened narrative, central themes of passion, jealousy, isolation and despair lurk, their universality drawing audiences inwardly, together it makes for compelling theatre.
Visual elements such as costume are effective in creating a sense cross duality cementing itself both within the past and present. However greater attention could be paid to such things as the characters accents, such important parts of the work deserve greater attention and despite all deliberate intent, the way in which certain voices seemed more natural is the most lack lustre memory left, post performance. Aside from this most smallest of criticism, you should certainly make a b-line for Red Stitch while The Moors is playing, it’s two hours of your life you certainly will not want back.
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