In the Event of Moone Disaster
Reviewed – 9th October 2017
“Rosie Wyatt is captivating. Lively, fragile and engaging.”
On the night of the moon landing, Sylvia Moone has an encounter with an astronaut that has a ripple effect for those closest to her. Winner of the 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award, Andrew Thompson’s In Event of Moone Disaster is a comedy about space exploration very much grounded in the reality of family life. Spanning nearly a century, 3 generations deal with the consequences of looking to the stars.
Theatre 503 rarely disappoint and once again they have delivered an auspicious and beautiful new play to the stage. This is an accomplished and charming debut from Andrew Thompson. The story weaves seamlessly through its many time jumps, depicting a family in flux as each generation pushes and pulls against the aspirations it inherits. It’s a coherent, touching and funny glimpse at how dreams of greatness can impact the ordinary, that’s not afraid to take a few satirical swipes at current issues in its future view.
Technically the show is beautiful, a minimal set (designer Sarah Beaton) that uses lights and sound to create the atmospheres of the different periods very effectively. The direction (Lisa Spirling) is clean keeping the focus squarely on the character’s connections throughout. The play is also playful in its style, switching between sci-fi and domestic. My only niggle was Julie’s (Alicya Eyo) direct address to the audience. While it was a great speech performed beautifully, I’m still not sure what purpose it served other than to make 2017 seem a little alien.
As both daydreamer Sylvia and her granddaughter facing a fantastical reality, Rosie Wyatt is captivating. Lively, fragile and engaging, she invites the audience to share Sylvia’s fantasy even when the reality becomes painfully clear. Will Norris as Neil gives an earnest and sympathetic take on a man obsessed with family, even when his tactics take a turn for the bullish, offset beautifully by Eyo’s pragmatic Julie. In multiple roles, Dar Dash impresses giving poignancy to the ending. But for me, it was Thomas Pickles’ Dennis who has the heart of the play. Goofy, hapless and out of his depth, its heartbreaking to see his bumbled attempts at doing the right thing repeatedly be met with rejection, and the vulnerability in Pickles performance makes the scene between him and Norris devastating.
Overall, this an exciting and confident production, once again affirming that Theatre 503 is the fringe’s new writing King.
Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com
Photography by Jack Sain
IN THE EVENT OF MOONE DISASTER
is at Theatre 503 until 28th October