Moormaid @ Arcola Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/moormaid/
Running until: 19th May 2018
Production photos by: Anika Wagner

Although the show has a short run time of just 95 minutes, Marion Bott’s play Moormaid tries to pack an emotive punch in order to drive the story along. At the start of the play we meet art teacher Melissa who is close to hanging herself with a scarf. But before she can do that, she is interrupted by a former student of hers, Mehdi. From the moment they meet it’s undeniably clear that the two have a previous history that oversteps the teacher/student boundaries. At the same time, Mehdi is haunted by the ghost of a friend he abandoned.

Moormaid, Arcola Theatre (Moe Bar-El and Sarah Alles) - courtesy of Anika Wagner_3

What is impressive is all three actors are all making their UK stage debuts and they are all fantastic. Sarah Alles brings a slightly sadistic edge to Melissa. Moe Bar-El delivers a raw performance as Mehdi and his on stage brotherhood with Ali Azhar as Khan is clear and the connection between them brings, although minor, comic relief. Director Zois Pigadas has really assembled a tight knit unit of actors, who all work well together even if one of them is more of a spirit. There is also some really lovely choreography which help transition scenes along beautifully and showcases Zois Pigadas wonderful direction.

Moormaid, Arcola Theatre (Ali Azhar and Moe Bar-El) - courtesy of Anika Wagner

However, towards the end of the play, I felt it was possible the writer didn’t know how to end this. The set up gets off to a good start but struggles to maintain a purpose. I just didn’t understand what I was supposed to take away from this play. Art plays a major theme in here, to the point where Mehdi and Melissa start covering themselves in paint, and I just didn’t get it. Which is a shame because although the play doesn’t drag and it showcases some excellent new talent, I left the theatre not knowing what I was supposed to take from the play.

Until next time,

hayley-sprout-transparent

 

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