Moonfleece – Philip Ridley

moonfleecePro­fes­sional world pre­miere at Rich Mix in Lon­don, Wednes­day, March 3, 2010.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Link (15-year-old boy)              Reece Noi
Tommy (18-year-old boy)          Bradley Tay­lor
Gavin (17-year-old boy)            Ash­ley George
Cur­tis (18-year-old boy)            Sean Verey
Alex (18-year-old girl)                Krupa Pat­tani
Jez (17-year-old boy)                David Ames
Sarah (17-year-old girl)             Emily Plumtree
Nina (20-year-old woman)        Sian Robins-Grace
Zak (22-year-old man)               Beru Tessema
Wayne (21-year-old man)          Reeda Har­ris
Stacey (20-year-old woman)     Ali­cia Davies

Direc­tor:  David Mer­catali
Set and Light­ing Design:  William Reynolds
Cos­tume Design:
  Ellan Parry
Sound Design:   Ed Borg­nis
Stage Man­ager:  Heather Doole

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Rid­ley, Philip. Moon­fleece. Methuen Drama, 2010. Drama Library Stacks PR6068.I292 M66 2010.

Set­ting:  A derelict coun­cil flat on the top floor of a tower block in East Lon­don; the present.

Lan­guage:  Contemporary

NINA

Lis­ten, sweetie! I’ve just made my way up an Ever­est of Dog Turds to get here. I did that because I thought you wanted a séance.

Genre/Style:  Serio-Comedic

Plot:   Cur­tis, a young right-wing, British National Party (BNP) activist, arranges a séance because he has been see­ing the ghost of his brother, Jason, who sup­pos­edly died while explor­ing the Colom­bian jun­gle.  The polit­i­cal meets the per­sonal as Cur­tis con­fronts the truth about what really hap­pened to his brother and why.  Not every­thing in the play works:  some of the char­ac­ters feel super­flu­ous and you ques­tion whether such a group of peo­ple would ever inter­act with one another given the extremes they inhabit on the social-political spec­trum.  Since Moon­fleece was writ­ten for young the­atre prac­ti­tion­ers and the­ater­go­ers, there are many parts for col­lege age actors.  A pro­duc­tion of the play in the West Mid­lands was banned after it was sched­uled to run because some felt that the play’s themes of homo­pho­bia, fas­cism and the BNP were not “suit­able for a com­mu­nity setting”.

 

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mono­logues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.19–20:  Cur­tis explains to Link why the derelict flat will always be his place, even if Link cur­rently squats there. Long monologue.

CURTIS

Jesus Christ, ain’t you heard any­thing I’ve said, you bloody stu­pid—? Lis­ten! My gran was the first per­son to move into this tower block. They were still lay­ing cement. If you go to the base­ment there’s hand­prints in the floor. My gran’s.  [Lines cut] –Don’t you dare refer to this flat as yours! Hear me? Don’t dare! It’ll never be yours. It’ll never be anyone’s except mine. Even when they dyna­mite the place—and it’s noth­ing but rubble—the rub­ble that makes up this flat will have my name run­ning through it!

p.23–24:  Alex tells Cur­tis the rea­son Sarah stopped talk­ing to him was because they saw him at a fas­cist rally.

ALEX

No rea­son? You want the full essay or just the bul­let points? You lied! You’re full of hate! You preach hate! Your views stink! You’re a pig! You’ll breed pigs! You want me to carry on? [Lines cut] Then what hap­pens? A fam­ily day out with smi­ley grannies and tod­dlers chant­ing, ‘Eng­land for the white!’ I was stand­ing next to her when she heard you speak. Her world fell apart.

p.85–86:  Stacey talks about the trou­bles she encoun­tered try­ing to bury her sausage dog, Banger, and how Cur­tis’ step­fa­ther, Mr. Avalon, came to her aid. Long monologue.

STACEY

It’s like when my sausage dog died. I loved that sausage dog. Banger its name was. And one day I looked in its lit­tle bas­ket and Banger was as stiff as a board. I cried and cried. Dad wasn’t much help. He said we should use it as a draught excluder. I got no sym­pa­thy at all. [Lines cut] And that’s when this man comes out the shop next door. A white man! This man pays the lovely Pak­istani gen­tle­man the money I owe him and takes me into his own shop. And who’s answer­ing the phone? Wayne. Cos the man who paid for my drink was none other than Mr. Avalon. So you see, sweet­heart, if it weren’t for my dead Banger I’d never have met Wayne.

 

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes:  This play has a lot of char­ac­ters and no scene breaks but there are a few sec­tions of the play where only two peo­ple inter­act that could be done as a scene.

p. 17–20:  Link ques­tions Cur­tis about his fam­ily after learn­ing that Cur­tis and his fam­ily used to live in the flat Link now squats in with Zak.  Starts with

LINK

So … why’s ex-girlfriend Sarah com­ing here?

and ends with

CURTIS

Jesus Christ, ain’t you heard any­thing I’ve said, you bloody stu­pid—? Lis­ten! My gran was the first per­son to move into this tower block. They were still lay­ing cement. If you go to the base­ment there’s hand­prints in the floor. My gran’s.  [Lines cut] –Don’t you dare refer to this flat as yours! Hear me? Don’t dare! It’ll never be yours. It’ll never be anyone’s except mine. Even when they dyna­mite the place—and it’s noth­ing but rubble—the rub­ble that makes up this flat will have my name run­ning through it!

p.74–77:  Zak tells a frac­tured fairy­tale about Cur­tis’ brother, Jason, which exposes the truth about why Jason dis­ap­peared and later died.  A long scene. Starts with

ZAK

The King’s death sent the Queen mad. She started to bring wolves into the cas­tle. She cried, ‘My pre­cious wolves. They are all I need.’

and ends with

ZAK

 …‘Yes.’

 

 

Select Bib­li­og­ra­phy of Reviews and Crit­i­cism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

All­free, C. (2010, Mar 09). Putting the BNP on stage. The Inde­pen­dent, pp. 14.

Akbar, A. (2010, Mar 30). Banned, the play that took on the BNP; Dud­ley coun­cil accused of cav­ing in to far right after pulling plug on ‘moon­fleece’. The Inde­pen­dent, pp. 2.

Blacker, T. (2010, Mar 31). Nobody has the right to be spared offence. The Inde­pen­dent, pp. 38.

Edgar, D. (2010, Apr 10). Com­ment: Panic and folly: A farce: The ban of moon­fleece is the lat­est exam­ple of an ill-founded cen­so­ri­ous atti­tude stalk­ing britain. The Guardian, pp. 36.

Iqbal, N. (2010, Mar 30). Mis­guided moon­fleece ban is an affront to the­atre. guardian.co.uk

Mar­lowe, S. (2010, Mar 05). Moon­fleece. The Times, pp. 68.

Mar­tin, D. (2010, Mar 04). Moon­fleece. [open access] The Stage.co.uk

Orr. J. (2010, Mar 08). Review:  Moon­fleece. [open access] A Younger Theatre.com

Philip rid­ley jmoves beyond shock tac­tics in moon­fleece. [open access] (2010, Mar 01) metro.co.uk

Tay­lor, P. (2010, Mar 04). Under the skin of the racists; The­atre moon­fleece rich mix, Lon­don. Inde­pen­dent Life, pp. 16.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>