Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Theatre review: Bomber's Moon

A gentle two-hander on the main stage at the Park Theatre doesn't seem to have found its audience, judging by tonight's attendance, but covers some heavy subjects with a light touch and deserves a look. Bomber's Moon is set in a sheltered accommodation flat where the elderly Jimmy (James Bolam,) slowly dying of cancer and with limited mobility, lives. When his regular carer has to suddenly take time off, he gets passed to the inexperienced David (Steve John Shepherd.) After a successful career in management, a turn of events in his personal life saw David look for a more meaningful job and Jimmy is the first patient he's been given full responsibility for. After an awkward start the two quickly become friends, but their complicated and differing opinions on religion remain a bone of contention between them.

Following family problems David has recently rediscovered his Catholic faith, but as he nears the end of his life Jimmy remains unconvinced that there's anything on the other side.

William Ivory's play builds up a spiky and entertaining relationship across the generations between the two men, and Bolam and Shepherd have some nice chemistry. As we find out more about them in the present day, flashbacks to Jimmy's days as an RAF gunner during World War II fill us in on where his attitude in later life came from. Faith becomes the central theme of Bomber's Moon, although the topic is dealt with by the play itself with a lightness of touch its characters aren't always capable of.

There's some neat little reversals of expectation in a piece that isn't earth-shattering, but is quietly moving (though it would probably be more so without the unnecessary interval breaking its flow.)

Bomber's Moon by William Ivory is booking until the 11th of May at Park Theatre 200.

Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes including interval.

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