Thursday, 10 October 2019

THEATRE REVIEW: Under Three Moons - The Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

'Under Three Moons' is being performed at The Unity Theatre, in Hope Place, which is situated off Hope Street in Liverpool. For those who haven’t visited the Unity Theatre, it’s well worth a visit, it’s extremely spacious and accessible for everyone to use. The stage itself is a really good size for most productions. Unlike most theatres, this one has two stages to put productions on.

'Under Three Moons' was produced by Box Of Tricks, with assistance from Jack Opie and Max Emerson, who have both done a fantastic job producing the show for the stage. Adam Quays' tight direction and dedication was shown throughout the show. He demonstrated a clear vision how he wanted the play to be performed on the stage too, which worked incredibly well. Luke Rigg was the Movement Director, who did a good job positioning the characters in different places during the story to keep the story moving and the audience engaged in the performance.

The play was written by Daniel Kanaber with passion and enthusiasm. It can be generally difficult writing a duologue, but I think he has done a really good job getting the story over to the audience, whilst exploring the narrative of Paul and Michael’s friendship from boyhood to manhood to fatherhood. The dialogue felt real and very genuine. There were a few funny one-liners, which got laughs from the audience.

The cast consisted of two best friends, Paul (Darren Kuppan) and Michael (Kyle Rowe). I thought this was a great concept having just these two characters as their relationship could be fully developed and explored in the play. They had a great rapport for each other and a good degree of chemistry between them too. I particularly liked the dynamics of the two friends as they genuinely care for each other and came from very different backgrounds, but managed to form a bond of friendship.

The story opened with Paul and Michael reluctantly having to share a tent together on a camping trip in the countryside of France. They initially don’t like each other, but as their first camping night progresses, they soon realise they have much more in common with each other. On their camping trip, they speak candidly about their personal lives, family struggles, meeting potential girlfriends and difficulties of being a teenager. Whilst together, they drink, smoke and crack jokes in their company to kill time. After the camping trip, they begin to form a solid bond of friendship and keep in contact with each other over the years.

Spanning over half a lifetime, 'Under Three Moons' takes places across three decades of the two friend’s lives. From a camping trip in France to a surf shack in their twenties to Christmas in their thirties. Paul and Michael meet up and talk into the night. From boyhood to manhood to fatherhood, they use these nights to catch up with each other.

The main running theme was the importance of friendship and how having friends can help so much by confiding in each other and sharing their problems too. It dealt with the issues of growing up and issues facing men in their lives. Under Three Moons was a very true representation of daily struggles men face at different points in their lives. Being a man in my thirties myself, I could relate to and identify with several elements in the play.

The set design by Katie Scott was very minimal with a circular stage in the middle of the performance space, but extremely practical. There were few props needed for each of the scenes in the play, which the characters used when required. The lads were both dressed in everyday clothes and their appearance slightly changing between the scenes to reflect the different time periods.

Louise Anderson, the Lighting Designer did an excellent job conveying the lightness and darkness into the play, which help build up the tension of the characters. The contrasts of the lighting worked very well together and I particularly liked the concept of having spotlights lit over the two lads on the stage. Well done to Chris James, the Sound Designer in the play, there was no issues regarding the sound as all dialogue could be heard clearly and his sound effects were of a good standard too. I found the music composed by Chris Hope was brilliant and added to the intensity and tension of the characters. Additionslly, the music kept the audience occupied between scene transitions.

On a final note, I found 'Under Three Moon to be an extremely engaging, contemporary piece of theatre, which was well acted, dealing with current issues of today’s society. The play was also thought provoking and raised a few issues that several men faced in their daily lives. 

Reviewer - Mark Cooper
on - 9/19/19

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