The man who thought the moon would fall out of the sky
21 march 2013
Director: Mark Calvert
Dramaturgy: Susan Mullholland
Reviewer: Michael Hunter
Seven recent theatre graduates have been chosen by Northern Stage in Newcastle, to form a new and exciting company called North. This gives the actors a fantastic chance to develop the skills that they already have toiled for, and be honed into the next step of their career.
The man who… is their first blooding at this theatre and first impressions are everything, a wonderful welcoming stage presence of the seven performing music as we entered the auditorium, with an exciting ‘messy’ staging of books, suitcases and props.
The premise of the play, was that the company had been in the Tyne & Wear Archives and had come across a scrapbook of writings, pictures and structured details of a man who indeed thought that the moon would fall out of the sky.
The seven, Michael Blair, Alice Blundell, Maria Crocker, Meghan Doyle, Stan Hodgson, Alexandra Tahnee and George Williams all spoke and acted with an air of ease throughout the performance that showed that Northern Stage had made a significant valid choice in capturing these performers.
With a narrative start to the play, the actors quickly engaged the audience with a brief history of the author, from his childhood, through to adolescence and work placements, combining songs, dramatic wordplay, humour and wonderful usage of props to melt everybody that was watching and listening intently.
The passion of the author to convey his story and findings to anybody that would listen wasn’t an easy passage, as the actors (most had a go at playing him) who drew us into his life, touched on the heartstrings. A love story unfolded, from letters to a meeting, to the heartache that happens when one is so wrapped up in something that goes beyond ‘two becomes one’. The scenes of the two lovers being so comfortable with each other, touching and feeling, then slowly going through the same processs but in a negative way, brought a lump to the throat I am sure to many that were watching, this was brilliant modern theatre that will last in my memory for a long time.
This was a short hour long play, but showed so much promise in that time, to suggest that this new company is going to go from strength to strength, and I for one cant wait to see more and more.
Director Mark Calvert has really showed his worth with the debuting actors all doing very well, the tightness of the production made this a very pleasant 60 minutes.
The man who...is playing until 23 March.