“It’s rained all week and the peat has risen”
The Old Red Lion may not look like the most flexible of spaces, especially since the seating is not, but it seems to inspire designers to come up with most inventive work. And Holly Pigott is no exception as she evokes the dark and brooding mystery of an unforgiving moorland, enhanced by the striking lighting design from Jamie Platt.
And it provides an ideal setting for the psychological thriller that is Catherine Lucie’s The Moor. Bronagh has lived there for most of her life but is far from immune from the strangeness that the landscape inspires. Trapped in a fug of post-natal depression, grief from the death of her mother and the torment of an abusive relationship, she’s beginning question what is real.
Which as an abstract concept doesn’t sound quite so bad. But after a night out full of arguments with boyfriend Graeme and the subsequent disappearance of a young man who was at the same party, her shakiness with the truth becomes highly significant as she fingers her partner as a person of interest in the case. How reliable are her memories? No-one is sure.
There are moments when it seems like that might include Lucie, the slipperiness of the storytelling and all its unreliableness doesn’t always feel completely under control. But Blythe Stewart’s production is strongly acted, particularly bu Jill McAusland’s complex Bronagh and Oliver Britten’s vicious Graeme.