After we calibrate the mics, we start with a recap of the previous episode. If you missed the live recordings of the first two shows, don’t worry – you can catch up by listening on Spotify. The recaps are fun, snappy, capturing the main beats of the previous episode. I’m glad to have them because, I must admit, the recap did help me remember details of the previous episode – it has been over a month.
There really are some things to admire about this show and the process of the performance. The fact that we return to The Studio every month to delve back into the American fictional town of Moonville and the hilarities that ensure the main characters – and they feel true to teen experiences. Things I thought were small and trivial, which I initially scold the team for, are given much more airtime. Another element I find intriguing is serving two audiences at the same time. Actors are physically in a space, performing to a live audience, while also performing to mics for the future and audio-only audience. And while they do a great job of serving the live audience, only time will tell if the team are serving both audiences equally.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, lest I divulge spoilers, but there is something I wish to touch on which is a minor plot point in the episode (to become larger in the next?). We have a kiss from Charlie (Campbell Wright) transforming a creature (Teag Mackay) into a human. The creature then goes on to mention that true love’s kiss set them free. It’s ambiguous as to whether that means the two characters that kissed are each other’s true love, or if there is an implication that because Charlie is so pumped up on lust that it worked? Or did the creature just need to be kissed by anyone who is willing and the mention of true love’s kiss is a nod to traditional fairytales and written as a joke? This ambiguity leaves me somewhat puzzled as part of me feels there shouldn’t be any in terms of plot, but can be plenty in terms of character’s feelings. Perhaps it gets more airtime, and more details are shared about how this magic works in this universe. I will let time be the judge.
Wright as Charlie has to be my favourite thus far. He is able to give Charlie both the innocence and a slight air of scheming. And Wright absolutely relishes holding the audience in the palm of his hand as we writhe in agony of watching the homoerotic undertones between Charlie and Felipe (Jacob Banks) get tantalisingly close only for it to be ripped out from under us. Banks is an enjoyable performer to watch as he is often trying not to laugh at the jokes laid in the script and while he misses a couple of lines in his big monologue, his effortless charm doesn’t make the audience feel he has made a mistake. Abby Lyons as Betty Clydesdale is able to bring forth this character’s manic obsession with acting and the property market (a new insight) and balance it well when Betty sincerely sets boundaries for Charlie – this part of the show lands well, and gives the show more emotional depth. Beth Jones also does a great job reprising her roles as Vicky Adams and Deputy Marshall, while also adding Konstantin Stanivlasky to the mix. Jones is rather good at playing aggressive or daft characters in an authentic way, rather than a caricature. Also, a quick mention to Mackay who gets to play a (perhaps?) more longstanding character – I am really impressed by the voicework and French accent (although totally stereotypical, the consistency is remarkable)! I can’t wait to see more of Mackay (and maybe, more Mackay eating Iceberg lettuce like an apple??).
As a whole series, I have no idea where Night of the Silver Moon is going. And I’m okay to simply be strapped in for the ride. The team have brought things to the table that have surprised me which is a good quality for a production. In saying that, I do wonder where it’s heading and what the conclusion will be. At the end of each episode so far, just as I think we might be heading somewhere, a new element is brought in, making the scope of the story bigger and bigger. I hope the team is able to weave it all together in something we can recognise as the tapestry of Night of the Silver Moon, rather than a mess of threads.
Night of the Silver Moon gets more bizarre with every episode and I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s to come next episode next month at BATS Theatre.