Luna Park

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19/08/16

Zoo Southside, Edinburgh

It’s the morning of Delmore’s eighteenth birthday and, on a cold winter’s day during the great American depression, he and his mother, Rose (Eugenia Caruso) are barely getting by. There’s no money for a birthday cake and Rose can’t even motivate herself to sew up the tear in her cardigan. That night, Delmore (Jesse Rutherford) has a dream, and we’re taken with him into a series of flashbacks charting his parents’ relationship, from the optimism of their first date in Luna Park on Coney Island, to the devastation of their marriage falling apart.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Donald Margulies, Luna Park is a piece about coming of age, about finding your own place in the world and accepting who your parents are. It’s nicely acted (Caruso is particularly good in her role), and the direction is visually very pleasing, particularly the balletic movement in the transitions between scenes. If there’s a criticism here, it’s that the various household objects used to delineate different areas of the house sometimes feel too much like clutter; on this small stage, less would almost certainly be more.

The play itself has a beautiful simplicity, which helps to make the characters utterly believable, but the tension seems to dissipate quite quickly, and there isn’t much of a denouement; we’re left feeling that we’ve witnessed maybe half of something very good, which is a real shame.

3.5 stars

Philip Caveney & Susan Singfield

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