Somewhere inside Moonlight is a fascinating drama about the relationships of a dying husband and his family. David Bradley and Deborah Findlay are both superb as a couple who now communicate with wounding insults with very occasional moments of tenderness. Helpfully the programme identifies their daughter as a ghost because there is no overt reference to her death other than Findlay's pained reaction at her mention. But why does Bradley ask to see his grandchildren when it appears that Bridget dies as a teenager? Pinter of course does not provide an answer to this question, but far worse is the absurdist drivel spoken by the two sons who act as if they are strangers. Pinter's apologists will claim it is deeply meaningful - it's not, it's gibberish and displays Pinter's disregard for his audience who are never allowed to know what his intentions were. Of course this is true of so many of Pinter's plays and I suspect he will now come in for a more critical reappraisal which could confine much of his work to obscurity (if they're not obscure enough already). The cast do their best and at least there is the welcome distraction whenever Lisa Diveney appears in the briefest of shorts. - David Baxter
14 May 11
WOS need to sort out their website as they are posting old reviews, in this case one by me, for a completely different play? In the case of MOONLIGHT it's two stars for the play but five for the terrific actors. Pinter writes the characters as if they are in some form of grotesque sitcom. I laughed and, at times, sympathised with the characters, but it mainly consisted of cheap joke followed by a heavy dose of surreal dialogue which could have come from an ancient episode of Monty Python. For me there has always been a touch of the smoke and mirrors about Pinter - East End kid made good with the intelligentsia. But I came to appreciate his work later in life and particularly when it was delivered by actors of the caliber of David Bradley. Perhaps, the formidable rage Pinter expressed towards the end of his life was for knowing his later work was not in the same league as his earlier work? - rds.
30 Apr 11
Certainly no masterpiece. It plays as though this is imitation Pinter as every line seems like a poor imitation of his much better plays. So one star for the play and the others for the terrific cast. - fred
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