The first play in the Traverse’s A Play, A Pie & A Pint autumn run, Fly Me To The Moon is a darkly comic two-hander in which a pair of care workers find themselves caught up in ever-increasing circles of guilt and complicity. Their charge, the elderly stroke victim Davy, is lying dead in the bathroom, and the pair find themselves faced with the dilemma of what to do with his body – and with his unclaimed win on the horses.
Katie Tumelty as Francis is the brains of the operation; Loretta (Abigail McGibbon) her panic-stricken accomplice. Together, the pair convince each other of the merits of their actions. “It’s what Davy would’ve wanted” becomes their mantra as they consider each more desperate step.
Award-winning Irish writer Marie Jones has penned a fast-paced and amusing piece, toying with the notion of how far you would go when faced with temptation. She has a similar ear for raw, convincing dialogue as Martin McDonagh, injecting her characters with realistic motivations – and some perfectly-timed one-liners.
Tumelty is excellent as the plotter in a pinnie, eyes darting as she plans her next move; and McGibbon plays the slightly bewildered Loretta brilliantly, swept along by her friend’s schemes with a sense of heightened paranoia that is highly amusing to witness.
As a whole, the piece feels a little like a long joke leading up to a punchline, though – like some of the best shaggy dog stories – the enjoyment is in the telling. With one or two moments of poignancy to balance the savage wit, Fly Me To The Moon is an entertaining and funny piece which opens the season with a pair of great performances and some guilty laughter.
BONUS PIE REVIEW: Vegetarian Haggis – a generous helping of peppery meat-free haggis topped by smooth mashed potato make this a perennial favourite.
Ticket and show information is available on the Traverse website.