Next Stage review: Moonlight After Midnight

MOONLIGHT AFTER MIDNIGHT by Martin Dockery (Concrete Drops Theatre). Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). January 6 at 7:15 pm, January 7.


MOONLIGHT AFTER MIDNIGHT by Martin Dockery (Concrete Drops Theatre). Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). January 6 at 7:15 pm, January 7 at 3:45 pm, January 8 at 9:15 pm, January 10 at 7 pm, January 11 at 5:15 pm, January 12 at 9:15 pm, January 13 at 6 pm, January 14 at 12:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

The most intriguing aspect of this emotionally charged drama in which two mysterious people (Vanessa Quesnelle and Martin Dockery) role-play different relationships in a hotel room is that youre never certain what their base reality is. Are they total strangers? Long-lost lovers? Husband and wife? Is it all an act?

The clever frame Dockerys script establishes upfront, in which the pair agree to engage in adult make-believe, allows them to slip between multiple frames of reference in a way thats cryptic but thankfully not totally baffling.

With negligible set and no props, Quesnelle and Dockery, who have worked as a team since 2011, use their familiarity to produce intense, realistic exchanges that resonate. The result is a unique and powerful meditation on heartbreak, loss, reconnection and the hazards of fantasy that hits harder and harder as their game progresses and their dynamic repeatedly morphs.

Its like opening a Russian doll, except youre never certain youve reached the end.

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