Last night, I headed over to Swiss Cottage to check out Luna Gale at The Hampstead Theatre.
The venue itself was gorgeous, with the perfect patio for summer nights. I was welcomed warmly by the staff who handed me my tickets and invited me to enjoy a drink during the interval. A lovely setting. But more about the show.
As someone who has worked first hand with children who have been taken into foster care, I had assumed that this show would grip me from the start. Sadly, it didn’t. Until the closing scene of the first act which made the audience gasp as the lights went down. But even the anticipation of the next act was short lived.
I must admit that I did fall in love with one of the characters though… Luna’s dad, Peter. He was so honest and, more importantly, I believed in his character. But feeling empathy for only one of seven characters in a play about child abuse, neglect and foster care? It just didn’t seem good enough.
The plot was okay, although somewhat predictable. And I found that the intricacies of it were lost on a 26 year old London girl. Set in Iowa and relying heavily on ridiculing the ‘crazy Christians’ of America, I couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable because – unlike The Book of Mormon – these references seemed irrelevant to the story. It felt like mocking for mocking’s sake.
Despite my own afflictions with the show, I have to admit that the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it and the actors received a rapturous applause at the end.
I, however, was glad to see the back of The Hampstead Theatre on this occasion. Luna Gale simply wasn’t for me, although I do love a bit of Sharon Small. But then again, who doesn’t?
To the trains.