|*****The Metro ****The Times ****The Guardian ****The Telegraph|
****The Evening Standard ****The Independent
****The Sunday Times ****The Financial Times
That's what you call good reviews. A show with such a pedigree, (and a two-for-one ticket offer) you'd imagine would be packed out, alas this was not the case, but then again it is a wet and rainy Wednesday night.
Moment... ah Moment, Moment, Moment... what am I gonna do with you? Okay there is so much that is staggeringly, jaw-droppingly good about this play: the way it is written, the way it is directed, the silk-smoothness of the ensemble acting, the brilliantly evoked and involving characters, the poignant snap-shot of the deeply yet instantly recognisable fractured Irish family: frankly; it's an achievement and a half, it blew me away. Honestly, almost everything about it was good. So good in fact, that anything that didn't quite work stuck out like a sore thumb, and juxtaposed next to the fabboness, perhaps seemed like a bigger deal than it really was but that's what you get for raising my expectations.
Tonight's performance of this play, was for me, a game of two halves. When the whistle blew at interval time I was fully aware that I was at something special: something good and true and real and maybe even one of those life-changing plays that you get once in a blue moon and you're never the same after.
My mind was racing just processing what I'd seen. The tension, the excitement, the involvement. It was a rush.—It was the F.A. cup final, and my local giant-killer third division team were beating Man Utd 4 nil. Unfortunately by the end of the play it was a draw and then for a finish we were beaten on the penalties, and I'm carrying such a crushing sense of disappointment that I don't have much stomach for the post-match panel discussion.
I could blame the player who acted with their mouth open, I could blame the on-stage herbal cigarrette ( if you're gonna have the music actually coming out of the radio, and even a functioning kettle for realism, why stink up the stage with the smell of 'fake'? ) but these minor quibbles are only so much sour grapes. In a sense, there never could have been a satisfactory conclusion because the uncompromising demand to evoke reality that made the play so engaging in the first place was never going to give us an easily digestable and processable answer. Life's not like that.
Even so, it seemed to me that the play was either missing a climax, even a weak one, or else had one too many. Man Utd. got their draw because the brilliant passing in the first half seemed to descend into something sloppier, as if the lads were no longer working as a team and instead began to compete against each other for glory: every exit seemed like an ending of the play, and none of them were good endings.
And then the whistle blew and we'd lost.
I'm so hard on it perhaps I just don't have the cojones to be dealing with the absolutely real especially when it comes to the lack of resolution. I can't stress enough that even though I do feel like my team may have lost:
That was some game of football.
Tall Tales Theatre Company and Solstice Arts Centre production in association with the Bush Theatre present 'Moment' at the Belltable Arts Centre until 14th April. Starring Maeve Fitzgerald, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Deirdre Donnelly, Ronan Leahy, Natalie Radmall Quirke and Will Irvine.