Would you ever consider being an assassin to be the ‘easiest job in the world’? Well, for characters like Joss and Sol, it isn’t far from the truth given their years of leading double lives. Want the Moon is a new theatre company that has just finished touring at Brighton Fringe and are currently in London showing previews of their debut production, Other People’s Teeth before they head up to Edinburgh.
I managed to see the company this week at Kennington’s White Bear Theatre and I found their work, Other People’s Teeth to be an engaging piece of theatre that had my head ticking over for an hour that flew by fast. Joss, convincingly performed by Becky Downing, is a stone-cold, brutal hitwoman, but she has many dark secrets she hides away from her mathematical, and rather geeky, partner Simon. (Writer and director Dan Sareen, alongside Jess Williams, performs the role of Simon.)
It’s quite an interesting scenario. One moment, you’ll see Downing pointing a gun at her business partner/ assassin boss / life-threatening partner discussing missions and torture scenarios, which involve teeth, in a matter-of-fact fashion. Yet in another scene, she shows affection to Simon, listening to him elaborate on the plurality of a cake or the rules of a chess game.
Scenes are separated by voicemail messages. I recommend you pay particular attention to the dates of these messages as there’s quite a bit of time hopping between each scene. The beginning almost begins at the end and the end sort of finishes at the beginning. The stage is minimal. Each vignette is blacked out before a table or chair appears on stage. And be warned: there is some fake blood, and a victim, boldly shown through Ellen Harris.
Adam Walker-Kavanagh’s assassin (Sol) is serious, intimidating and creepy – I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him. Samreen’s Simon seems genuine, humane and tender. There are scenes in the work where you feel a sense of hope in Joss and Simon’s relationship, that it could work and they could come to some solution. But, let’s face it: what would you do if you found out you had been dating a hired killer for months, and they had kept it from you?
The most sinister part of the production is the lack of a backstory for Sol or Joss. Why did they become assassins? Did it have something to do with their past? For me, I found Joss’s character more of a mystery. I wasn’t entirely sure if she was ever truthful to her business partner or her other half. Here’s an intriguing production that builds up with tension and may make you jump, just a little bit.
(I was provided a press ticket to review this show.)
For more information on Want the Moon theatre, click here.