PLOT: Josie (Eve Best), a towering woman with a quick tongue and a ruined reputation lives in a dilapidated Connecticut farmhouse with her conniving father, Phil Hogan (Colm Meaney). Together they’re a formidable force as they scrape together a livelihood. But Josie’s softer side is exposed through her love of Jim Tyrone (Kevin Spacey), Hogan’s landlord and drinking buddy – a third rate actor whose dreams of stardom were washed away by alcohol.
A drama in four acts, ‘A Moon for the Misbegotten’ was written in 1943 and first performed in New York City in 1957. Until Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards’ celebrated performances in the 1973 production, it was a neglected piece viewed largely as a postscript to his masterpiece, Long Day’s Journey into Night. It was in fact forged from an episode in the first act of that play, focusing on the oldest Tyrone son, an alcoholic actor.
Director Howard Davies is reunited with Kevin Spacey, for Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten”, their first project together since their award-winning success with another O’Neill classic, “The Iceman Cometh”.
It was my first time ever at the Old Vic, although I meant to watch a few of their production since Spacey took over as artistic director in 2004. Never mind, no love lost for sure. As it was within the first week of showing that we decided to catch Moon, and the press night is to follow a few more days later, there are no reviews available just yet, but I have faith, faith that I will enjoy tonight’s performance and will beat myself up for having to wait too long to watch Mr. Spacey up close. And he didnt disappoint.
This is not an easy play to watch, it’s written by American playwright Eugene O’ Neill who also gave us The Iceman Cometh and A Long Days Journey into the Night. It’s a night of catharsis which you will have a lot of watching this brilliant “minor masterpiece” as Spacey himself said. According to the Daily Telegraph, ‘Eve Best is perhaps the finest actress of her generation, gives one of the most beautiful accounts of aching, unconditional love I have ever seen’. So what about Mr. Spacey? Like I said in the outset, he didnt disappoint. He was as superb as he has always been and I promise him this, I will see more of his production at the Old Vic in the days to come.
A Moon for the Misbegotten: 4/5
Playing at The Old Vic until 23 December 06.