Robin Kingsland

Cast of 8 - (4M, 4F)

Written from the viewpoint of multiple narrators, “The Moonstone” is one of William Wilkie Collins’ classic works of fiction, and credited as being the first "detective" story. Full of humour, suspense, red herrings, and misplaced suspicions, with regular dramatic peaks inherited from its origins as a magazine serial, the story tells how the Moonstone, a fabulous diamond looted from a desecrated Hindu temple, changes the destinies and fortunes of a host of characters,  and sends shock waves through Victorian Society. With a cast rich  in beautifully realized characters – some tragic, some comic, all fascinating - "The Moonstone" is a story of honour, fortitude, trust and love; a roller coaster of a plot in which reputations are sullied, protected, sacrificed or regained. 

THE ADAPTATION

Preserving Wilkie Collins highly effective “Multiple narrator” approach, the story is presented in a form reminiscent at first of an “enquiry” – such as would be held in the event of a death or accident. Thus the “witnesses” or main narrators come, one by one, to give their accounts of the events they have witnessed – along with their comments upon them. As their accounts unfold,  the company of actors present the scenes conjured up by this testimony. The narrators step in to represent themselves in the action, but are able – during their own testimony – to break out in order to comment.

"The Moonstone" is not only a great Victorian detective yarn. It is also a masterpiece of multiple characterization, with every kind of personality from the well rounded and sympathetic to the comically grotesque. It represents a gift to a gifted small ensemble of great character actors, with tension, mystery and menace going hand in hand with finely judged comedy.

The cast is in constant play, moving swiftly to create characters at the turn of a line, achieving character and location changes by use of physical and vocal characterization skills, backed up by minimal set and atmospheric lighting and sound. Each actor plays several contrasting main roles,  making for a  fast-moving theatrical event in its best and truest sense.

 

 
 
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