Maskers' Studio Theatreon
23rd to 27th March 2004
Moonlight was first performed at the Almeida Theatre in September 1993 and was described in The Sunday Times as 'one of Pinter's most haunting works, studded with brutally and swaggeringly funny jokes'.
After ten years of politically-committed drama, it marked Pinter's return to familiar themes of loss, failure of communication and the battleground of family life; but it also introduced new concerns about death and the loss of children, which seem to spring directly from Pinter's own experience. It explores all of these with a mix of passion and knock-about humour, which results in a moving yet richly comic play, in which the weight of the past, the fear of the future and the unanswered need for reconciliation and closure loom large; and in which the hunger of communication between the members of a divided family and between the living and the dead is an insistent motif.
Andy, bedridden and tended by his wife, Bel, rages against the dying of the light and longs for reunion with his estranged sons, Jake and Fred, who pass their days (and hide their hurt) in a protective cocoon of cross-talk routines and fantasy games - about the father with whom they are totally obsessed. Hovering above and between is the haunting figure of their dead sister, Bridget, whose cryptic speeches open and close the play.
Such a brief summary, perhaps, begs more questions than it answers; but Pinter is not in the business of providing easy solutions or the comfort of the 'well-made play'. Instead, he gives us a sardonic and intensely-felt poetic work in seventeen scenes - a single movement piece which moves back and forth across the stage (and thus across the family divide) in a complex echo of regret and recrimination in which mockery is used as a kind of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for languishing spirits. Ultimately, the play's enigmatic structure and open-ended conclusions allow us to take from it whatever chimes with our own experience.
In an interview, Pinter said '. . . salt, vinegar and mustard exist in the play. In other words, there are a few laughs'. Indeed, there are - and more than a few, I hope, for in Moonlight Pinter confirms that his wit and agile command of the uses of language are undiminished.
|For the Maskers|
|Production Manager||Helen White|
|Stage Manager||Andrew Smith|
|Set Design and Construction||Ken Spencer, Roger Lockett|
|Lighting Design||Nathan Weeks|
|Lighting Operator||Ivan White|
|Sound Operator||Jez Minns|
|Props and Furniture||Ella Lockett, Gill Buchanan|
|Publicity Manager||Angie Stansbridge|
|Programme Design||Carla Evans|
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