16-20 Aug, 1115 (1235) @ Quaker Meeting House
Dark of the Moon is a little known play from American writers Richardson and Berney, bursting with witches, hellfire and brimstone, Appalachian eccentrics and nubile backwoods girls. It is a demanding show, requiring passionate performances, broad humour, one particularly brutal scene and live music – as well as being scripted in the dialect of rural Appalachia.
It is not surprising, then, that Green Stag Youth theatre struggle a bit with their production. Some performances are self-conscious and lacking in conviction, others are overplayed and consequently some characters cross the line from eccentric to out-and-out caricature. The dance scene would also benefit from more confident physicality. Using Appalachian accents is a mixed blessing – for the most part these are surprisingly impressive, but can mean dialogue is occasionally indecipherable.
But despite these faults, Dark of the Moon is still an enjoyable show. The script is hugely powerful, the cast are obviously enjoying themselves, and Lauren Hookings as heroine Barbara Allen absolutely comes into her own with the emotionally demanding scenes near the end of the show.
With this play so rarely staged, it may well be worth grabbing this rare chance to see it performed by an ambitious young company.