‘Inventive work’: THE MOOR – Old Red Lion Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Old Red Lion Theatre, London – until 3 March 2018

The Old Red Lion may not look like the most flexible of spaces, especially since the seating is not, but it seems to inspire designers to come up with most inventive work. And Holly Pigott is no exception as she evokes the dark and brooding mystery of an unforgiving moorland, enhanced by the striking lighting design from Jamie Platt.

And it provides an ideal setting for the psychological thriller that is Catherine Lucie’s The Moor. Bronagh has lived there for most of her life but is far from immune from the strangeness that the landscape inspires. Trapped in a fug of post-natal depression, grief from the death of her mother and the torment of an abusive relationship, she’s beginning to question what is real.

Which as an abstract concept doesn’t sound quite so bad. But after a night out full of arguments with boyfriend Graeme and the subsequent disappearance of a young man who was at the same party, her shakiness with the truth becomes highly significant as she points our her partner as a person of interest in the case. How reliable are her memories? No one is sure.

There are moments when it seems like that might include Lucie, the slipperiness of the storytelling and all its unreliableness doesn’t always feel completely under control. But Blythe Stewart’s production is strongly acted, particularly by Jill McAusland’s complex Bronagh and Oliver Britten’s vicious Graeme.

Ian Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."