FRINGE 2016: THEATRE – Moonlight After Midnight – Tuxedo Cat – 4K

A man sits in a hotel room, lost in thought. A woman enters; maybe she’s expected, maybe not. Maybe the two people know one another, maybe they don’t. Maybe this is the beginning of the story, maybe it’s the end, or maybe it’s the middle.

This is a piece of theatre that requires its audience to think and to be flexible with their concepts of time and place, as it interweaves reality and fantasy. The structure is fluid and repetitive, with variations of the same scene playing out but with small tweaks – is the hotel room crappy or nice, is the picture of a tiger or a leopard, is there a wedding going on and if so whose is it? Simply put, if Groundhog Day and Inception had a baby, and it was a theatre piece, this would be it.

Writer Martin Dockery also plays the man, imbuing him with an awkward likeability and the right amount of defensiveness to keep you guessing about his motivations and his honesty. The woman (Vanessa Quesnelle) is heard before she is seen, as an old love ballad wafts from offstage. Her voice has a clarity and beauty that pierces the silence, as she gives an appropriate heart wrenching sadness to the song. The dialogue is snappy, the exchanges precise, with a nice blend of playfulness and painful sincerity coming together to give the whole interaction a dreamlike quality.

This is a satisfying theatrical experience that will keep you guessing throughout and leave you ruminating on exactly how it all fits together long after the final scene plays out.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

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