The Buried Moon
KM Rating: ★★★★
Historical Factor: 5/5
In the historic setting of The Rose Playhouse, originally the first London theatre on Bankside, we take our seats for The Buried Moon, presented by the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival.
The play, fantastically and cleverly written by Laura Turner, is a modern retelling of two very familiar characters from The Tempest, Miranda and Caliban. We watch the relationship that develops after Cal, a somewhat awkward boy on the outskirts of society, meets Miranda, a young woman who is struggling to relate to her father after her mother’s death, and prevents her from taking her own life.
Set in the marshlands of the Lincolnshire Fenlands, and informed by traditional folklore legends of the area, the piece is a reimagining of the dynamic that could exist between Miranda and Caliban, retold with reference to both Shakespeare and modern day. The piece works very well within moody and nostalgic setting of The Rose. This along with delicate direction, from Jake Smith, and a magical sound scape echoing around the space, created by Alex Ayling, the company have successfully created a magical and eerie atmosphere and the result is gripping. To have created such intensity within one hour of performance, really is a credit to all involved.
Georgina Hellier gives a superb performance as Miranda. We are engaged and involved with her emotional journey throughout and are taken in to her thoughts and fears through direct address to the audience and recordings she makes on her phone. Michael Kinsey gives an energetic performance as Caliban, leaping from quirky and spirited to dark and mysterious very effectively.
There were some moments that needed more work, mainly with the technical elements, granted it’s difficult to achieve a detailed technical spec in an indoor archaeological site, but some lighting effects I found quite dazzling. The sound sometimes felt quite abrupt and as I was sitting on the side, my sight-line was sometimes blocked, which I found a little distracting. I also questioned whether the impact of the piece and the references made within it would be as pleasing to someone with little knowledge of The Tempest, but after reflection, I am sure the piece stands well enough on its own. Although, it might be worth reading a little about the characters beforehand for some perspective about how they are connected.
All in all, the piece has gravity, emotional depth and is extremely enjoyable. The somewhat strange relationship between the characters and the tension that builds throughout is riveting and the fact that an important theatrical landmark is the backdrop, well, that makes it even more poignant.
Well done for a fantastic show! Note: There is no heating at The Rose, so take a jumper if you tend to feel the cold. Also, make sure you use the bathroom beforehand, as there are none on site!
Review by Katie Merritt
Click for Tix: @Rose Playhouse
Time: 60 Minutes
Running: 3 MAY 17 ► 13 MAY 17
♥ Thank you to Pepe Pryke @Rose Playhouse for the invite
♥ Thank you to Greg for the Buried Moon illustration