Yellow Moon

Edinburgh Festival review
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
TAG Theatre Company
David Greig (writer), Guy Hollands (Director), Nigel Dunn (music)
Nalini Chetty (Leila), Keith Macpherson(Billy, Drunk Frank), Beth Marshall (Jenni. Holly) Andrew Scott Ramsay (Lee)
Running time

This specially commissioned play by TAG theatre (aimed at schools, community centres and young audiences) focuses on the tortured lives and loves of two teenagers, Lee and Leila, living in a small town in Fife.

What is it really like to be 17 years old? What goes on in their imaginative minds amidst all that crazy adolescent angst?

Writer David Greig has done his research (working with a teacher at a Fife Secondary School), and through the personalities of his two protagonists, the pseudo street cred guy, and a withdrawn, little girl lost, we get under their skin, understand their feelings, and observe their growing friendship and relationship.

Like an old Mississippi Blues song, this is the ballad of Leila and Lee, their hopes and dreams for a better life. Lee wears his precious Stag emblem baseball cap, nicks booze from the supermarket and plans making money out of crime. Leila spends Friday nights reading celebrity magazines: Closer, Heat, You, Now, More, as an escape from reality. A tragic encounter sets them off on a wild adventure to the Highlands where they become involved in other people's lives and problems. The experience gives them an opportunity to grow up.

Through 20 short, fast paced scenes, a cast of four play the various characters and narrate the story. Like a ballad, it's poetic and lyrical as we follow Leila and Lee on their journey of personal discovery. The set within the theatre-in-the-round of Traverse 2 is minimal to the extreme - 4 bentwood chairs. What is desperately missing is theatrical lighting, to offer a sense of mood, time, day and night.

"Lee switches on a torch and the beam cuts into the dark" - Leila describes the yellow moon on Lee's face - they sit and watch the red sunlight. How much more effective it would be with dramatic change of light to give colour and atmosphere. Apart from music, sound effects and four energetic performances, it's all rather monochrome and monotonous, akin to a rehearsal workshop. Storyline aside, not the most inspiring or dramatic of shows especially for young theatre goers.