Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: Ernest and the Pale Moon ****

One of the highlights of the Fringe last year were The Terrible Infants, who performed a beguilingly dark and charming collection of Dahl-like cautionary tales at the Udderbelly to critical acclaim.

This year, the company are back - in conjunction with Pins & Needles Productions - with Ernest and the Pale Moon, a deliciously macabre and grotesquely gothic tale of black obsession and murder.

The cast have a similar look and style to last year, with white-painted faces and Edwardian dress. The story here is much darker however, centering on a voyeuristic loner who is infatuated with the albino girl who lives in the apartment block opposite his, and who only appears when the light of the moon allows her eyes to tolerate the dim, pale light.

Using excellently-realised simple sets and staging and accompanied by live cello and accordion music, the tale unfolds, punctuated by some startling, eerie and horrific moments. This, whilst maintaining the same storybook style as The Terrible Infants' previous work, is most definitely not a show for children.

As effectively-created sound effects and moody site-specific lighting help usher the story towards its climax, Ernest and the Pale Moon successfully creates a unique and captivating atmosphere in which to play out its twisted, terrifying tale, and represents another success for the company to add to their growing list of achievements.

Ernest and the Pale Moon runs until 31st August at Pleasance Above.

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