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REVIEW: Under Three Moons at Newcastle Live Theatre

Box of Tricks present
Under Three Moons
Newcastle Live Theatre
Friday 25th - Saturday 26th October 2019

Under Three moons is an interesting look at male relationships. What is it that makes blokes stay in touch with each other – or to stop doing so? Why do men tend to take the piss out of their mates? What is acceptable social etiquette? Does this two handed play answer these questions? Probably not, but it is painfully aware of the issues that underpin such friendships.

Darren Kuppan appears as Paul who has gone on a sixth form camping trip to France. The show begins with him drying out his sleeping bag under the moonlit sky as the wind is picking up and it is clearly getting cooler. Mind you it isn’t just the temperature that’s getting cooler as his fellow camping partner Michael, performed by Kyle Rowe appears to be responsible – at least in part – for the ruined sleeping bag.  The two teenagers are struggling to communicate with each other. Both actors getting over the difficulty in expressing themselves at that age really well. Paul may have an A* in French but he admits that was due to learning a bank of stock phrases. Certainly, he is in no position to go and chat up the nearby group of French girls. Michael decides to smoke and share it with the lad who is freezing as he “airs off” his sleeping bag.  This isn’t an obvious start of a friendship.

Daniel Kanaber’s story proceeds to look at two more moonlit episodes in the lad’s lives. Firstly in a beach day hut in the South Pembrokeshire coast whilst trying to remain undetected by the security lads. By this point the pair are in their 20s and education worries are now being replaced with work issues. The one constant are the relationships: both with friends and with family.

The exploration of masculinity then completes its journey at Michael’s house. By this point Michael has a baby and so the pair have to remain quiet so not to wake the kid up. Funnily enough this conversation by two lads in their 30s who no longer live in the same town was one that really resonated with me as I have had had similar awkward conversations with people I used to see everyday but no longer do. The clever writing, coupled with two actors that one can easily relate to, combine to make this a poignant experience.

Under Three Moons understands its subject. Lads and their interactions have complex rules that change over time. It is to the credit of both Darren Kuppan and Kyle Rowe that we can follow these characters in 3 episodes many years apart and appreciate both, how their individual circumstances have changed, and how the dynamic between the two peers has moved on. The show hit the right chord tonight.

Review by Stephen Oliver
Photos by Decoy Media

Cast & Creatives
Writer: Daniel Kanaber
Director: Adam Quayle
Designer: Katie Scott
Lighting Designer: Louise Anderson
Sound Designer: Chris James
Movement Director: Luke Rigg
Composer: Chris Hope
Cast: Darren Kuppan and Kyle Rowe

£14, concessions from £6
7.30pm, running time approx. 70mins, no interval
Suitable for ages 14+, contains strong language

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