Posts Tagged ‘Ramps On The Moon’

I’m fond of the work of theatre company Ramps On The Moon – inclusive, irreverent and populist – and the Theatre Royal Stratford East is their natural home in London. Their latest offering is a campaigning piece about damage to the rural environment, with events at the (ficticious) Syresham village fair interspersed with the more serious story of the havoc caused by HS2.

There are two families, the Honeybone’s and the Mahoney’s, traditionally at odds with one another, whose lives become inextricably connected. Barbara Honeybone has dug her heels in and refused to comply with the compulsory purchase order on her house, though her grandson Peter works for HS2 and he has other ideas. Kevin Mahoney has taken the money so that he can move his family (daughter Debbie and son Liam, neither keen to go) to Thailand where a Thai bride awaits. Barbara has always considered Kevin’s traveller family to be a blight on the village, but Barbara’s other grandson Harry has taken a shine to Debbie, and later we learn that the relationship between Peter and Liam is far from straightforward too.

In between scenes we have everything you’d get at a village fair, from veg contests to magic and drag acts (well, maybe not drag acts!) in front of the curtain, and of course there’s a meat raffle (vegetarian alternative – two cans of strongbow!). Plans for moves to Thailand and Milton Keynes / Banbury are laid and changed and Barbara takes it right to the wire, the day the compulsory purchase order comes into force.

Samson Hawkins’ piece is funny, irreverent and explicit but full of heart and passion. The fair is a clever way of reminding us about the community in which it’s set. Director Nadia Fall marshals a small team of six outstanding actors, whose sense of fun is infectious, but who bring passion to the issues being confronted too. The audience loved it. I think Joan Littlewood have also have loved it.

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