Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

12/02/2016 - 14/02/2016

NZ Fringe Festival 2016 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

You have hunger, and you know of death, and there is something that you are… 

Part poetry recital, part meditative walk, part psychoanalytic field study, part seduction of a microphone, part New Age disco, part tango nuevo, Silent Moon

Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington
7pm 12-14 Feb
60 min
BOOKINGS: TICKETS: $12.50/$8.90 

Theatre , Performance Poetry ,

1 hr

Intense reflection

Review by Henrietta Bollinger 13th Feb 2016

Heading into Rueben Todd’s Silent Moon I am busy trying to unpack the seemingly deliberate poetry of the title: I know that it is a solo show so perhaps the idea is that the moon is solitary in the sky like the performer on stage? And when is a moon ever loud? I run these thoughts as I seat myself up close to the small stage in Fringe Bar.

I know this is Rueben’s first theatre piece and the advertising has led me to think it will be an experiment drawing on his eclectic artistic taste. I am undecided whether we are going to be treated to music, poetry, physical theatre, a mixture of them all or something else entirely. I am depending on the title to help me navigate his work. I am also guided by the slightly enigmatic postcard-style program I am handed at box office.

When the show begins, the title resonates because of the word silent. The play seems to begin at the end. Rueben greets his audience with a bow, which we applaud. And we are led into a private world of what would seem like child’s play if it wasn’t for the earnestness with which it is being carried out. There is something adult in the delivery and deliberation.

I am still attempting to impose a narrative or at least an idea of what the character might be searching for. However Reuben embodies this searching, serious character with a kind of private delight. As I sift through other theatre I can compare it to, I am content to watch and puzzle. In terms of genre, I call Joseph Harper’s The Boy and the Bicycle to mind or Eamon Mara’s Respite. These are both portraits of passages through depression and as one of Reuben’s dolls comforts the other I cannot help but think of them.

I cannot help but want to be invited more actively into this internal and silent world the performer has created with evident thought and reflection. The show also suffers for the times that Reuben exits stage because, with nothing else to engage the audience in those moments, I begin to lose focus. However, I generally feel that Silent Moon is a brave first show that will leave its audience thinking long after the intense 45 minutes of theatre. 


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