Writer: Pierre Brault
Reviewer: Ciara L. Murphy
Kicking off the first day of the annual Galway Theatre Festival is Blood on The Moon, a feast of physical theatre and historical intrigue.
This production charts the journey of a man called James Patrick Whelan, a Galway-born Irish immigrant who is accused of murdering Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a former Irish rebel leader, in Canada in 1868. Whelan, played by Jérémie-Cyr-Cooke, was sentenced to death for this crime, but of course, he’s innocent. Whelan returns in this production to guide the audience through the events of the trial, determined to prove his innocence and revisit the events that led to his death.
A whole host of characters are employed to help Whelan with his story, all of which are played with gusto by Cyr-Cooke. The realisation of this story is done in the physical theatre style. The set is a simple black box stage with one chair – an effective and clever prop in the telling of this story. Cyr-Cooke demonstrates a wide breadth of skill and agility as he takes on eighteen different characters in this challenging production. This one act show, running at 75 minutes, never feels too long, a difficult feat for a one man show.
Blood on the Moon is a fitting opening to this year’s Galway Theatre Festival, infusing physical theatre and literary text in a lively and accessible way.
Runs until 19 April 2017 | Image: Contributed