It was a lovely evening to be back in the beautiful gardens of St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden for ‘The Red Side of the Moon’ a new musical running as part of Iris Theatre’s summer festival.
‘The Red Side of the Moon’ is a bittersweet new folk musical that tells the story of Ellen and Beth. It charts their musical success, their love for each other and the price of fame.
Kathryn Tindall plays Ellen, she also wrote the music & lyrics, as well as providing the musical direction. The songs are beautiful and given her ease with the music, it is unsurprising that it is in the musical numbers that Ellen’s emotions truly shine through. The magic of ‘The Red Side of the Moon’ sits in the songs. Tindall has written a moving collection of tender, heart-felt musical pieces.
Elinor Peregrin is a wonderful Beth. There is a natural, relaxed energy to her performance, that makes her a joy to watch. She is adept at finding the humour in outdoor related distractions (the fun of performing in nature & misbehaving mics) in a way that feels totally in character, thereby adding to the enjoyment of the show. She is totally believable as Beth, with a rich singing voice many popstars can only dream of.
The story, written by Zoe Woodruff, has a focused simplicity to it but the development of the action feels fractured and rushed in places. There is definitely room to expand the story further, engage the audience more fully with the respective journeys of Ellen and Beth, and explore their character development further. I wanted to feel more invested in their story and the impact they have on each others lives.
Director Priya Patel Appleby plays to the strengths of the show, giving the songs plenty of room to breathe. It is in the space between the songs that this show can feel a little clunky.
This is a promising new musical, and Tindall has a clear talent for writing authentic and moving songs. I would be excited to see how Woodruff and Tindall develop it further.
‘The Red Side of the Moon’ is running until this Saturday 17th July. The weather forecast is looking great, so I recommend grabbing a ticket, a Pimms from the bar and relaxing with this lovely new musical. To find out more or book tickets, please go to: https://iristheatre.com/event/the-red-side-of-the-moon/