Ages of the Moon by Sam Shephard is set on a porch during one late night/ early morning. The two characters Ames (Christopher Fairbank) and Byron (Joseph Marcell) are in their mid-sixties after an S.O.S phone call from Ames, you are introduced to the couple as they are sitting there reflecting on life, drinking large amounts of bourbon and talking about Ames latest infidelity.
With great casting, the potential for a really good play was there. However, it felt like it was struggling to get off the ground throughout the performance. Plotlines don’t always need to go anywhere but this one just starts another thread and leaves it hanging, leaving me wondering where it might lead.
As the plot progresses the less appears to actually take place. As the alcohol flows and the conversation progresses the couple hit onto potentially violent territory leaving you watching the friends fight and some uncomfortable truths begin to emerge but again fail to develop.
The direction by Alexander Lass and the stage designed by Holly Pigott is impressive. The front view of the slightly run-down shack is very believable, complete with two wooden chairs and wildlife noises setting the country scene. The working/non-working temperamental fan is an interesting distraction from the storyline.
With two talented and seasoned actors cast in Ages to the Moon, the storyline that they were life long friends wasn’t always convincing, you can usually see the rapport between two people who have been friends for a long time and that appeared to be missing between them during parts of the play.
The play overall has some depth, emotion and comedy but at times not a particularly solid storyline. I wanted to know more about their past connections about which they start arguing and fighting about! What happened to lead up to those events but the storyline then jumps onto the next thing. A reasonable production but I think that is all it can achieve to be.
Press images by Mark Senior.
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