DTR - Review of Ring Round the Moon

Ring Round the Moon

Wed 30th November – Fri 2nd December 2011

reviews

Katie Coleman

at 02:04 on 2nd Dec 2011

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Ring Around The Moon is a complex tale of deception, money and romance. This intricate plot was performed tonight at Trevelyan College by the Hill College Theatre Company. The plot centers around the identical twin brothers Hugo and Frederic. Hugo - cool, calm and confident - plans an elaborate ruse to save his twin brother Frederic - doting, sappy and awkward - from betrothal to a woman who does not return his feelings. The play is riddled with cliché characters, complex 'serendipitous' events and chance meetings. And while the plot is complicated and somewhat confusing at times, the audience is rewarded in the end with an almost Shakespearean "happy ending".

Director Rowan Williams-Fletcher made a bold choice in this show. As a difficult show to choreograph and more characters than there is cast, it makes for quite a directorial challenge. Though the cast is not particularly large, the performances of Felix Stevenson (Hugo/Frederic) and Will Van der Lande (Joshua the butler) outshone all others on stage. Stevenson's dual performances were distinctly different and equally engaging. While at first glance his change between the two brothers seems to be simply a "Clark Kent" act, as soon as he begins to deliver his lines the audience immediately believes him to be a completely different character, almost to the point of seeming to be a different actor. Van der Lande's performance as Joshua, the butler, was dry, amusing and charming making him the perfect "Straight Man" to the cliché cast of characters around him. In addition to these excellent performances, Ellen Milton had some very amusing moments as Mme Desmortes and Emily Sale as the demure Isabelle manages to balance Stevenson's passionate performance as Hugo nicely.

While there was clearly much effort and energy put into the show by the cast, overall the performance fell rather flat. The unnecessary amounts of physical comedy that were applied came off as clumsy and boorish in such a small space, while sadly many actors delivered their lines at a shout. The performance space while intimate (and cold!), held a set that did not do the show justice and left the audience wanting. Lighting was cleverly used to "duplicate" Stevenson's form when he was playing both twins simultaneously and the background music used to remind the audience that a ball was occurring at all times was well done. While the costumes were overall quite nice, the "aging" makeup style used looked a bit comic and over the top for such a small space.

Overall, the performance is one I would not likely see again, though I would be interested to see some of the actors in other productions. While the show left me with a bit of a disappointed feeling, it is a story worth knowing and an interesting script.

So, if you are looking for an interesting way to spend your evening and have some free time,stop by and see Ring Around The Moon at Trevelyan College - just remember to dress in something warm!

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