Blood Moon

Blood Moon
By Nicholas Kazan. Unpathed Theatre Company. Producer: Leah Russell. Director: Christopher Stollery. Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst. 5-16 February 2013

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Blood Moon reads well, but requires considerable energy, pace and subtly to deliver successfully on stage. The Unpathed Theatre Company doesn’t quite succeed, but their efforts make for an interesting premiere of Nicholas Kazan’s mid-eighties play. It’s based on a true story and emerged during the early post-feminist period. It’s full of rage, rage which is fully justified. 

The play is in two acts, the first deals with a terrible crime committed against our protagonist, Manya. Her uncle betrays her and a man she’s powerfully attracted to violates her trust. After the snappiest ‘tween acts change I’ve seen for years, Manya re-emerges a year later and executes a shocking act of vengeance against the two men. The plot is reminiscent of Sleuth, but lacks its superb and elusive serpentine twists and turns. The ‘twist’ in this tale is entirely predictable.

The set by Tom Bannerman is excellent, although the picture of the hooded woman is not used for any purpose and the unstained wooden cocktail bar/dining table looks decidedly like 1970s Ikea. But in true Bannerman form, it is entirely functional and serves the action well. Unfortunately, the actors do not. All three are badly miscast and somewhat uncomfortable in their characters. Beck lacks the physical presence and vocal power for her role, which is particularly noticeable during her lengthy speeches in the second act. And whilst Ted Cosby looks the part of Alan, he doesn’t deliver the manipulative and powerful essence of an arch psychopath that is required of his character.

The sound is way too loud during the first act, drowning the weak voice of the lead actress. The lighting is patchy and dim. During the dinner scene a lamp obscures the face of an actor during crucial revelations. In fact, the actors' facial responses were often obscured because they had their backs to the audience.

Stephen Carnell

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