Moth to the Flame

Annie McCourt

Trinity College London

Paradise in Augustines

From 06 August 2012 to 09 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Once in a while you discover an unexpected little gem at the Fringe. Moth to the Flame is an award winning play from the 2011 international playwriting competition at Trinity College London and is a clever witty play performed by two young actors who give totally believable, sensitive and intelligent performances that belie their ages: both are only 16.

Katurah Morrish is the streetwise city girl Phoebe who is sent to live with her aunt Sarah and uncle Ted in the country since her father is stuck in Turkey looking after her sick brother Damo. Country boy Dickie, Joe Spence, works on his father’s farm but they don’t have a good relationship.

Phoebe is desperate to get her mobile phone to work, as there is no signal in the depths of the countryside, and wants to return to the city.

When she meets Dickie, the start of a tentative teenage relationship begins to develop with all the angst and awkward moments that are part of teenage life.

Both actors give accomplished performances playing myriad characters by changing a hat, using a pipe or moving a dress rail to become the village post office or a store. The costumes hanging on the rail cleverly become people.

Writer Annie McCourt’s dialogue sparkles with a total understanding of teenage issues and the plot twists and turns with unexpected and disastrous consequences as the story moves into violence and finally betrayall.

Inventively directed by Tom Foster at a cracking pace, this is an intense and compelling theatre piece; it is only a pity that it has such a short run.