Juicy, delicious theatricality that you want to sink your teeth into and consequently (and undoubtedly) hunger for more.

Two sisters await a new governess. Something a little sinister is at work in this abode, but what? Are we concerned for the new governess on her arrival, or will she survive the cold and strange inhabitants of this spooky residence?

Playwright Jen Silverman makes The Moors a uniquely colourful place in the characters she presents, and takes us on a journey that delights in the unexpected. When watching this play you can feel how much fun the performers are having and how much we, the audience, revels in the watching.

Not often do Sydney audiences have the opportunity to see theatre that takes you by surprise with its colourful well poised theatrics, but also offers moments that are quietly moving, somber, unexpectedly feeling.

For instance – I have never witnessed such a lonely canine on stage before in my life! Mastiff, played with such heartfelt brooding by Thomas Campbell – you wanted to jump up and rescue him immediately from his icy cold human wolf-pack. The truly charming Alex Francis played Moor-Hen so delicately, and delightfully, you felt and completely understood the Mastiff’s in-love state wanting to escape with her – far from the isolating land of the moors. Her costume was one of my favourites – especially the feathered skirt! Costume designer Eva Di Paolo created with such an appealing blend of old and new world, so specific to each character, all sensationally on point.

The eldest sister Agatha played by Romy Bartz – was fiercely dynamic and ruled her house with a stern fist and a gaze that would pierce through you if you didn’t watch yourself. A favourite moment was her eerie, ‘sweet’, yet hilarious lullaby to her lover and protégé. Her younger sister Huldey (Enya Daly) living in an imaginary world of grandiosity – was a joy to watch in her fantasy turned reality through the edging on of her two-faced/split personality maid Marjory (Diana Popovska). Popovska’s characterisation was engrossing in her physicality, comedic timing and sense of self in the space.

The most demure of the characters (yet not without her own surprises) was the governess played with grace and ease by Brielle Flynn.

Director Kate Gaul has created an all surrounding and brilliant theatrical experience of The Moors – and like the play itself, we are caught off guard from the moment we enter the Reginald with a staging that is simple yet totally alive and ever moving.

Highly recommended.

The Moors is on until 1 March at Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre

For more information see: https://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/the-moors/

Featuring: Romy Bartz, Brielle Flynn, Thomas Campbell, Alex Francis, Enya Daly, and Diana Popovska.

Creative/Tech Team: Jen Silverman (writer), Kate Gaul (producer, director, and set design ), Fausto Brusamolino (lighting design), Nate Edmondson (composer and sound design), Eva Di Paolo (costume design), Kirsty Walker (stage manager), Iyrah Tzanis (assistant stage manager), Amy Hardingham (assistant director), Troy Honeysett (stage combat consultant), Jennifer White (voice consultant), Zara Stanton (music consultant), and Natalia Ladyko (hair and makeup consultant).

 

This Month in Sydney

8 - 26 January

Sydney Festival

Sydney – various

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Every January, Sydney Festival starts the new year with a bang, transforming the city with a bold cultural celebration based on critical ideas and cutting-edge art and performance.

More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over four decades we have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige, including names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent. Some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and The Wooster Group to name only a few – also share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.

Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world. (from Sydney Festival website)