Moon Tiger book played out superbly at Theatre Royal Bath
3:04pm Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Theatre By Daniel Chipperfield, senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge
MOON Tiger is wonderfully depicted by director Stephen Unwin and his stellar cast of performers in a gripping and intriguing depiction of a war time correspondent’s life.
Based on the novel of the same name by Penelope Lively, the production wonderfully encapsulates the story of Claudia’s life which is shown “as she remembers it” rather than chronologically.
The script is taught and balanced throughout the play, with no weight given over to any particular scene and so the story moves on at a decent pace but not over rushed.
Indeed the limits of time in a production based on a book made you only see snippets sometimes of what were significant moments in the woman’s life, which left you wanting to know more about the interesting and controversial woman in front of you.
Jane Asher provides a mesmerising performance as the lead character, demanding the audience’s attention throughout the play and the crowd were happy to comply.
Taking her time with the dialogue and interchanging flawlessly with her younger and older selves through her memory, she put a perfect balance of humour or tragedy (and sometimes both) in her voice whenever it was required.
She is fully supported by her five fellow cast members each performing multiple roles throughout the play and it is a credit to them that they interchanged the roles seamlessly and kept the pace of the story intact.
The stage setting is minimalistic but effective, with only a few chairs and a bed providing the setting for the deserts of Egypt, the deathbed of Claudia in hospital and a pub in Cambridge.
A nice touch was the screen in the background showing the date and an image from the time they cast were playing out.
An intriguing and engrossing story that is perfectly translated to the theatre, buoyed with excellent performances is something not to miss. Such is the case with Moon Tiger, playing at the Theatre Royal Bath this week.
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