Catherine Lucie’s gripping psychological thriller has the audience on the edge of their seat from beginning to end. 

The Moor, Old Red Lion Theatre - Jill McAusland (courtesy of The Other Richard)_2
(c)The Other Richard.

What would you do if you thought your dreams were in fact a reality? What if you thought you saw something terrible happening and you are absolutely convinced that everything you were seeing was true?

These are two of the central questions right at the heart of Catherine Lucie’s brilliantly intense and enthralling thriller in which the audience is never too sure if Bronagh or Graeme is the one who is telling the truth from beginning to end.

Set in a dimly lit living room, the action all centres on the disappearance of a young man who was last seen in the same pub that Graeme and Bronagh were in before he disappeared. But what happened after the pub is a little less certain. With Bronagh convinced she knows the outcome – is it possible that it was the true image of what happened or is it her mind playing tricks on her?

Thanks to Lucie’s interweaving of a number of twists and turns in the plot combined with Blythe Stewart’s atmospheric and haunting production, the audience is thoroughly intrigued to see what the outcome is – particularly when Graeme attempts to switch the blame of what happened to the young man onto Bronagh.

Stewart’s production immediately packs a punch, getting straight to the heart of the story and the element of suspicion that exists between the couple at the centre of it all, with accusations of cheating flying around within the first five minutes – giving a real sense of both Bronagh and Graeme’s vulnerabilities as well as the toxic state of their relationship. It is heart wrenching and angry throughout, manipulating the audience’s conflicting feelings towards the characters to great effect.

All three of the performances have something very different to offer the audience – but all are equally intriguing. Oliver Britten as the self-centred but ultimately vulnerable and insecure Graeme effectively changes the audience’s original opinion of him as thug and bully to someone who is caught up in something beyond his control. His performance is utterly believable. In contrast Jonny Magnanti as Pat, the police officer who tries to help Bronagh sort out the chaos in her head is a calm and reassuring presence, delivering great support to Jill McAusland as Bronagh.

But the key performance comes from McAusland who  delivers a raw and heart felt performance as Bronagh which as the story begins to unravel soon transforms to a cold and clinical performance that perfectly captures the character’s downward spiral in her mental health. Every word she speaks is spoken with such impact that you can really feel her pain and inner torment emerging.

The Moor is gripping to watch unravel, with plenty to keep the audience guessing right up until the final moments. It has been brilliantly written and thrillingly staged.

The Moor continues to play at the Old Red Lion until the 3rd March. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/the-moor.html

Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

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