Director: Chris Kohn
Writer: Declan Greene
Presented by: Arena Theatre Company
Venue: Lighthouse Theatre
MOTH promised an exploration of teenage mental illness, loss and friendship, but delivered so much more at the Lighthouse Theatre on Friday night.
Pertinent issues including school bullying, cyber- bullying and the downfalls of social media were covered, but it was the striking talent of just two actors that drew everyone to the edge of their seat.
Sebastian (Thomas Conroy) is an unpopular 15 year-old whose obsession with anime and death is far from increasing his chances of penetrating into the "cool group". Neither is his friendship with Claryssa (Emily Goddard), an emo Wiccan cynic often the victim of school bullying antics.
After what starts as just another regular night of drinking and teasing one another, a series of disturbing events leaves Sebastian unconscious and his friendship with Claryssa broken.
When he wakes in the morning, he discovers a mysterious jar with a moth inside which he is convinced is an angel calling for him with a dangerous plea to save the souls of all mankind.
At times it was a complicated plot for those who may not have shared Sebastian's overactive imagination. But as the pair pieced together the events of the night before, while fighting the present mix of imagination and reality, the previous night's ruin was revealed.
The audience is privy to the friends' humiliation and struggle with their own minds, as well as their grapple with fellow students and family.
Through this, it becomes apparent how vicious mistreatment of someone over a long period of time can cause wounds too deep to heal.
Moth is an incredibly important and enjoyable piece of theatre for anyone to see and I have no doubt its aim to educate younger audiences on the dangers of bullying will be successful. Intense performances from Conroy and Goddard never waiver during the 70 minutes, nor do they ever lose their grip on the audience.
Brilliant lighting design by Rachel Burke, teamed with the talents of composer Jethro Woodward and designer Jonathon Oxlade, delivered the atmosphere this story deserved.
It is no wonder that young writer Declan Greene's Moth has been nominated for seven Green Room awards and is included in the 2012 VCAA Theatre Studies playlist.
Moth is touring as part of Regional Arts Victoria's Performing Arts Touring program.