Writer: Annie McCourt
Director: Tom Foster
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
With teenagers now increasingly reliant on technology to entertain them, providing constant communication with their friends and peers, Annie McCourt’s new play, Moth to the Flame, looks at the consequences for one vulnerable teenager when this access is removed and the lengths she will go to in order to reconnect with her world. Streetwise Phoebe (Katurah Morrish) is deposited at her aunt and uncle’s home in the countryside where, devoid of internet access or mobile phone signal, she’s forced into an unlikely friendship with local boy, Dickie (Joe Spence). Dazzled by Phoebe, Dickie becomes her sole confidante, but is unable to compensate for all that she’s lost and instead becomes an unlikely victim.
Despite strong performances from the young actors, in particular Morrish as Phoebe, Moth To The Flame fails to deliver all that is promised. That said, the piece is at times very entertaining and paints a convincing portrait of a displaced teenager at odds with her new surroundings. Utilising direct address to the audience the youngsters speak their innermost feelings out loud whilst putting contrasting actions across to the other characters, allowing the audience a window into the mind of each. Both Morrish and Spence additionally play a variety of adult roles, all of which are nicely performed.
Where the play lacks is its development and conclusion. Despite creating a rounded background for each of the two young people, it feels that the writer rushed the ending, and therefore the outcome of the final scene is frankly unbelievable. The reasons for ending the play in this manner are unclear, and therefore so are the motivations of the characters, particularly Phoebe who is otherwise so well drawn. An interesting piece and talented cast, but ultimately unsatisfying.
Until 8th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Moth To The Flame – Paradise In The Vault,