DEEPLY psychological and emotional, yet also strangely hilarious at times, William Ivory’s Bomber’s Moon is absolutely brilliant.
When interviewing Tim Dantay, who plays a joint lead role in this intense two-man drama, he told me that previous audiences had both been rolling about laughing and in tears through the course of the two hours and 20 minutes that the play lasts. And now having seen it, I can totally understand this bizarre mix of reactions.
Former Second World War RAF gunner Jimmy (Paul Greenwood) is now an old man who lives in a care home and faces the harsh reality of infirmity and loneliness. Along comes David (Dantay), his new carer, who himself is still struggling to cope after a breakdown and losing his job. While Jimmy’s memory keeps dragging him back to the terrors of his past, David’s faith is tested to breaking point.
The Belgrade’s B2 stage is a very well-chosen intimate space for such an intimate play that is essentially one long dialogue between two complex and extremely loaded minds. The two actors do a fantastic job of keeping the audience gripped and their emotions are expressed with such feeling that you feel along with them.
Yet human beings do and say amusing things and make jokes through the pain they may be feeling, and this comedy is really very funny - without the actors having to announce it as such.
While most of the action takes place in Jimmy’s small care home room and much of the time he is sitting in the same position in his chair, the transition to his memory is executed superbly - as Jimmy is jolted with force back to that terrifying time, we are too with the booming sound effects and clever use of lighting.
This is very powerful stuff and highly recommended, although it should be noted that the production contains very strong language.