Review by Brian Carroll
55 min | Drama | PG
A charming whodonewhat.
A man sits in a chair peering intently ahead. A woman enters. A stunningly beautiful woman, who states that he has telephoned for her to come. Or rather for a brunette to come.
She used to be a brunette.
He denies placing the call, but she insists. Furthermore he must pay for her services, in advance.
But what are those services to be? He insists that he wants only to talk. But she wants to do more. To set the scene.
It’s what she does.
The scene for what? For make-believe. For pretend. But pretending gradually becomes disturbingly real.
We are all familiar with the murder mystery. Only there’s no murder here. Just a mystery. A mystery about romance. We the audience must try to work out what that is.
Slowly, gradually, we come to want to do that.
There is a major premise on which the entirety of Moonlight after Midnight is based. Many males of the human species are gob-smackingly unobservant and unaware. Particularly with respect to women. Would that it were otherwise, but I’ve observed enough couples, in public, to assure you that it’s true. Without this fact it would not be possible to willfully suspend disbelief.
She looks familiar to him, yet she claims to be a stranger. He claims he doesn’t know her, yet she takes control of the situation. Why does he let her?
As this mystery unfolds, that question sticks in the back of the mind, an itch that won’t be scratched.
Questions intrigue us. If she’s a stranger, why does he acquiesce to her? Why so readily?
She convinces him to join her in creating and play-acting a fiction. A fiction about a made-up relationship. It’s what she does. But how does she improvise so many details of this fiction? He provides scant details to the story. How is she able to embellish the story in a way that draws him in? She’s pushing his buttons. What are they? How does she know?
I was impressed with the way Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle gradually drew the audience into the mystery. Hanging on every word, every emotion, every clue.
Why does he let a stranger take control of the situation?
A question that gets answered, but only at the very end. By his last act.
I saw this show alone; that was a mistake.
If you see it, take a friend. You’ll want to talk about it afterwards.
I know I do.
Moonlight after Midnight by Concrete Drops is playing at BYOV C – Courtroom in Arts Court on Friday, June 20 at 7:30pm; Saturday, June 21st at 6:00pm; Sunday, June 22 at 7:30pm; Thursday, June 26 at 10:00pm; Friday, June 27th at 8:30PM; Saturday, June 28 at 6:00pm; Sunday, June 29 at 6:00pm. Tickets are $10.