Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Moon For The Misbegotten

photo: Alastair Muir

In this engrossing but less than ideal production (transferred from the Old Vic) of O'Neill's three-hour drama, Kevin Spacey plays James Tyrone as an explosive drunk rather than a corrosive one: he's never far from a sudden rageful eruption. It's a new and interesting approach to the role - its freshness is entertaining, it adds some oomph to the ocassional comic moments, and it gets points for not being stamped by Jason Robards - but often it's too vital for the "walking corpse" that O'Neill describes. Eve Best isn't maternal in the way that previous actresses have been as Josie, nor is she a "big cow" of a woman. But if you can accept that, she's captivating: she renders the entire range from hard-boozin' coarseness to soul-bared tenderness in vivid detail. Colm Meaney is exactly right as Josie's father - gruff, mischievious, proud - but essentially this Moon rises or falls on the star performances of Spacey and Best. It just barely clears the horizon line.

Also blogged by: [David]

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