Moonlight After Midnight (4 stars)

Moonlight After Midnight

An evocative vignette of love's fine vicissitudes

A renovated shipping container may be an unorthodox space for a theatrical production, but it's the perfect location for Moonlight After Midnight, a virtuosic two-hander from Concrete Drops Theatre that transforms the space into an intimate time capsule, illuminating the elusive relationship between one man, one woman and a rolling hinterland of fantasy.

A cheap hotel room provides the venue for an awkward encounter between an escort and her customer, which spirals into a series of interlocking meta narratives that follow the twisting course of their brief but intense relationship.

As the script acknowledges, this complex plot structure demands much of its actors, but Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle handle the task with aplomb, capturing their many-layered characters with clarity and precision. Their intimate hour together flies by at a feverish pace. The unnamed pair whip lines back and forth in an uncannily compelling linguistic dance, more fencing match than conversation. In whatever guise the characters take, they exchange an electric chemistry that powers the show's passionately beating heart.

By highlighting its performances of everyday life, the show gestures towards some thoughtful questions regarding performance and spectatorship, yet these never quite come to full fruition. The show seems to battle with time constraints as it cobbles together a conclusion to the pair's tryst, making some awkward narrative jumps in the final third to generate enough pathos to give their evening a satisfying end.

Yet, for the most part, Moonlight After Midnight is a captivating theatrical experience. Helmed by two formidable performances, Martin Dockery's meticulous script does a stellar job of weaving together its multiple plot threads and offers rewardingly nuanced insight into our relationship with relationships, in all their ever-shifting iterations.

Assembly George Square Theatre, until 28 Aug (not 9,16), 3pm, £10--£12 (£9--£11).

Moonlight After Midnight

  • 4 stars

Concrete Drops Theatre In this internationally acclaimed romantic mystery about love and loss, a man and woman meet under puzzling circumstances in a hotel room at midnight. 'A must for theatre buffs' (Advertiser, Adelaide). Awarded the top prize at festivals in Orlando, Ottawa, Cincinnati, Vancouver and Adelaide.

Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Fri 18 Aug

The Box

£12 (£11) / 0131 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 19 Aug

The Box

£12 (£11) / 0131 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 20 Aug

The Box

£12 (£11) / 0131 623 3030

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 8 more dates until 28 Aug

Comments