Old Red Lion Theatre
Reviewed – 8th February 2018
“McAusland is perfect … her terror and confusion effortlessly convincing”
Catherine Lucie’s The Moor is an eerie, atmospheric piece of drama which is perfectly suited to its venue at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Directed by Blythe Stewart, it has only a three person cast, but nevertheless is highly engaging and exciting throughout.
The story follows Bronagh, played by the wonderful Jill McAusland, as she and her husband Graeme (Oliver Britten) attempt to piece together the events of one drunken night. A man has gone missing, and they are found asking themselves if they could have had anything to do with it. The Moor retains its air of mystery throughout, drip feeding the audience information until we are finally left to decide the events of that night ourselves. It’s well thought out, and expertly executed.
Jill McAusland is perfect for the role of Bronagh, her terror and confusion effortlessly convincing. Whilst there were some questionable moments of direction – at one point Bronagh dramatically falls to the floor, a moment which isn’t at all in keeping with her character – McAusland manages to make Bronagh a complicated and believable character.
Oliver Britten and Jonny Magnati work perfectly in their roles at Graeme and Pat. Britten’s fits of rage are scarily real and terrifying, especially in such an intimate venue. Magnati makes the most of the somewhat one-dimensional role of Pat, a policeman investigating the crime.
Holly Pigott’s set is innovative, making the most of the tiny stage. The back of the stage is lined with rotating, opaque boards, which are half painted with the backdrop of the moor. The actors weave in and out of the boards, rotating them as they go, and this creates an eerie, tense atmosphere as characters can show up from anywhere. The use of sound and music (designed and composed by Anna Clock) goes on to compliment this. The Moor is highly intense, and even with its running time of 90 minutes with no interval, it doesn’t fail to keep the audience’s attention at any point.
The Moor is definitely worth seeing. Catherine Lucie’s script is thrilling, and the cast, set and sound come together to create a truly accomplished piece of theatre, and whilst there are some minor creases to iron out, the show itself is captivating and the mystery it presents will keep you wondering for hours after you have left the theatre.
Reviewed by Charlotte Cox
Photography by The Other Richard
Old Red Lion Theatre until 3rd March