A Moon for the Misbegotten review – or Lost in Spacey

And so I saw The Moon for the Misbegotten. Just a few facts before I give my verdict:
For me Kevin Spacey is the second best actor in the Universe, I think he is fantastic, no matter what he plays.
I also saw him on stage as Richard II in the Old Vic last year, and loved it, despite my total lack of Shakespearian background and my ears not totally geared to tune in to old English.

But about the Moon for the Misbegotten.
The other two main cast members in this play were absolutely fantastic. My reason to watch this play was Spacey though, and he did great. I cried when he cried and laughed when he laughed. He is enchanting on stage and seeing him just a few meters away from me was, again, surreal. But nice.

Weirdly enough you can have 3 fantastic actors, a beautiful theatre, a great set design and still end up with a play that wasn’t truly fantastic. And I have been wondering why.

Too much talking? Well that is the nature of theatre. Not British enough? Mmm, interesting question.
No real closure in the end (not for everybody at least)? That might be something, I like to have some kind of closure, whether it is a film or a play. And if there isn’t any closure, at least I want to feel hurt or shocked, but I wasn’t really touched by anything in this play.
Was it because I am more a film person than a theatre play person ? Well may be, but I loved Richard II, the Rachel Corrie play and Blue/Orange (and not only because Bill was in it) altogether. Theatre can touch me just as much as a film.

Somehow I found the Moon boring, too long at some points, too little Spacey, I guess it just wasn’t my play. I felt trapped in the set. I am not a theatre expert at all and I don’t know much about theatre, so this is how I experienced it – you might just love it. And they might still change things in it as it is still in preview. I am very curious to read what other reviewers are going to say.

Kevin Spacey still does his signature writing in the ticket booth kind of thing thingy after the play so line up if you want to have his autograph. I did. Weird as it is, and I wonder why he does it at all, probably to spread some good will, as it didn’t seem to be his most favourite thing to do. Of course not, he is an actor, and actors belong either on stage or on a set.

Kevin Spacey is doing a lot of good work in and around the Old Vic theatre. Young people get big discounts on tickets, low income residents in the Waterloo community have been invited into the theatre either for free or for a very low fee. I think London should be happy to have him. I am for sure, even though it has put his film career on a low gear. If he appears in a new play again, somewhere next year, I am surely going to see him again.

Update: you want to see this, a video diary of the cast while working on this play.

10 thoughts to “A Moon for the Misbegotten review – or Lost in Spacey”

  1. I have read a few blog reviews and so far everybody thinks it’s great.
    You saw RichardII? I had a ticket but was ill and they wouldn’t change my ticket (The swine!) so I missed out. I did see Spacey in The Philadelphia Story though and enjoyed that.
    The catflap signing thing is a bit weird though isn’t it? If he really hates doing it he should just slip out another way!

  2. Well as said, this just wasn’t my thing. I’m sure other people will love it.

    Oh, and it is not easy for me to say that I wasn’t wild about a play with Spacey in it! :)

  3. > “Kevin Spacey is the second best actor in the Universe”

    Yup, Colm Meany is a hard one to topple.

    Hey, best actors in the world can’t help writing and direction that doesn’t tickle your fancy. It’s all about telling stories, and if they’re not given a story to tell, they’re scupppered.

  4. Easily missed is Eve Best’s portrayel of Josie, whose transforming realization becomes that loving and forgiveness are sufficient in themselves, whether or not they are succesful in changing others or in getting what we long for. She, in my view, is O’Neill’s “anima” emracing his doomed brother. Best brings this perception to the role with dignity and deep femininity. Hers is not a tragic life because these qualities will serve her whatever the future may hold and regardless of what happens to Jim. Best’s performance surpasses Spacey’s, in my opinion. We saw the play on opening night. The audience was simply stunned.

  5. I have to agree that it was a terrible, terrible play. I go to the theatre a lot – and I’ve never, ever looked at my watch so much during a show. The performances were all impeccable, but for me that didn’t detract from the fact that it was about an hour too long and deeply dull. If the idea of being locked in an overheated room listening to a bunch of Irish drunks repeating themselves appeals, you’ll love this play. However, I found it heavy handed and repetitive. And don’t even get me started on the dodgy misogyny of all the female characters being either virgins and/or whores or idealised dead mothers. I was so desperate to get out of the theatre I didn’t care – plot spoiler ahead – that he didn’t go to his mother’s funeral. She was the lucky one, not having to listen to his drunken, repetitive whinging.

  6. There is a reason that most people have not heard of this play – it’s rarely performed, and that is the way it should remain. The play itself is painfully boring. The only strong point in the play is Colm Meaney – he is wonderful. Eve Best’s acting is all over the place, arms flying everywhere, accent and dialect work from the land of nowhere and she seems totally out of her league in this part. Spacey is a legend but not suited to this role.
    Don’t bother seeing this play – read it if you must!

  7. Thoue we are avid Kevin Spacey fans, this really was truly Horrid, boring, over acted, all over the place, what virture, etc, etc, etc, who cares? No more pays Kevin!

  8. On this weblog we run a “spell however you like” policy. This means that everyone can spell however they like without the need for other people to comment on it. We even invent new words now and then. You should try it some time, it’s fun …

  9. i did the “73” production in Lake Foerest, Ill. A tragic and resurrected time.

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