Remember Jim?

Neil Armstrong
Theatre of Moths
The Studio, Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Remember Jim?

Quirky, funny but with a fund of underlying seriousness: that, to me, is the best way to describe Theatre of Moths and the work of playwright Neil Armstrong. Their first production Nefairyus, a triple bill in 2011, blended the supernatural and the everyday and Remember Jim? mixes theatre (Macbeth, The Tempest, pantomime) with the psychological (and murderous) thriller.

Ben (Neil Armstrong) and Lucius (Peter Peverley) are two actors who are just about to start show 34 of a provincial panto (Dick Whittington) when Jim (David Tarkenter), who was at drama school with them 25 years ago, suddenly comes into their dressing room and their lives, bent on revenge after the death by overdose of another of their drama school contemporaries, Gillian (Christina Berriman Dawson, who plays all four female parts).

The stage is set, but for what?

There are scenes from Macbeth, a very funny summary of the opening scene of The Tempest, squeaky boots, innumerable “Dick” jokes, a pantomime horse, a hostage situation, a fight and audience participation in the form of a panto song sheet scene with possible fatal consequences (or not).

It is alternately funny, scary and emotional. The pace never falters and the performances are totally convincing. Very quirky and very enjoyable, Remember Jim? goes on to ARC Stockton (4th April), Customs House, South Shields (5th and 6th), Infinity Sunderland (12th) and Gala Durham (13th).

Reviewer: Peter Lathan

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