Jethro Compton's Frontier Trilogy: Blood Red Moon
In Western parlance, a Blood Red Moon portends murder and so it proves in the first leg of Jethro Compton's Frontier Trilogy.
The blood in question is also that which is thicker than water, shared between brothers Enoch and Levi Hill.
The pair teamed up as prospectors in California 160 years ago. Their claim may appear fallow but they soon find gold in them thar hills, making life bearable.
As their female companion, Bebe Sanders playing Annelise, quickly identifies, they are chalk and cheese.
Jonathan Mathews’s Levi is the salt of the earth, a kind man who cares about his ailing parents and would not hurt anyone without extreme provocation.
Enoch played by Sam Donnelly is that provocation, the embodiment of evil, who practically steals sweet Annelise from his brother.
Their attitude to wealth is different too, Levi behaving as before, while Enoch lazily lies and cheats his way into repeated trouble.
In a story that smacks of the borrowed biblical history from which it is drawn, the 70 minutes build to a dramatic climax that will change the fortunes of all three forever.
Jethro Compton has built his own dedicated immersive space, which might be cramped but catches the mood of his work. He also has the knack of the born storyteller keeping his visitors interested throughout a torrid but entertaining 70 minutes.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher