Ernest and the Pale Moon is a welcome return to the Fringe of one of Les Enfants Terribles’ most evocative works: a wonderfully expressed and macabre tale of obsession, murder and madness.
Ernest scratches out a solitary existence in his thirteenth floor apartment, living only for his nightly ritual, when the beautiful white-haired girl who lives in the building opposite comes to her window to bask in the glow of the moon. One night, his routine is shattered when he witnesses the girl with another: a man who, unlike him, appears to have the courage to act upon his desires. Ernest is sent into a jealous rage and a terrible series of events are set in motion, witnessed only by the sightless gaze of the pale moon …
With a style which nods in the directions of Edgar Allan Poe, Alfred Hitchcock and Tim Burton, Ernest and the Pale Moon uses greasepaint, mime and music to underscore the sense of mounting dread, aided by precision choreography and exaggerated performances from the excellent four-strong cast.
The minimalist set is used to stark and striking effect, bringing the dark and haunted world of Ernest to life with little more than a skewed frame representing the windows behind which the piece’s dark deeds unfold. The atmosphere is further enhanced by masterful lighting and sound design, with many of the nerve-jangling effects provided onstage by the cast themselves.
With a constant sense of foreboding which builds to a climactic crescendo of creepy chills, Ernest and the Pale Moon sears itself into your mind in a production which startles for all the right reasons.
Ernest and the Pale Moon is at the Pleasance until Aug 25th.