The Half Moon

Alice Malseed
Alice Malseed and Emily Foran, Lyric Belfast, Pleasance
Pleasance Dome

The Half Moon

“I’ve always wanted to leave this place.” What a powerful and sorrowful statement to make. Four generations of women, Ethel, Jeanette, Sarah and Pam, have in them the same yearning. The stories of their strengths, their longing, their quiet fight for survival.

Ethel wants to join the Royal Navy. She sees this as a way to get out and a way forward. When she goes to enlist, to see the world, she is confronted by the requirement of written permission from a father or a husband. She hadn’t anticipated that a man solely would have the control of her future. She stutteringly tries to explain that the father is gone and there is no husband. “Then go home.” she is told.

With such great hopes dashed, she looks to strive for her better future a little closer to home. Three more generations follow with similar dreams and similar fates, even Pam, the one who was able to escape, is doomed to return. Even with the lure of the unknown adventure and future, the familiar, home, has its hold.

Alice Malseed has written a beautiful if painful script. It is an angry script. Malseed has written a play about four women from a small village in Ireland, but it could just as easily have been of any of the many women from everywhere on the planet. Ruby Campbell, who takes on all the characters, controls the material.

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm

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