Recently I attended a performance of Luna Gale written by Rebecca Gilman at Hampstead theatre, London. Catching those who fall through the cracks is the part of the role of Caroline the main character in Luna Gale her attempts take her to the edge where her job is at risk but she does what she does because she cares, too much? Government or departmental policy is shown to be far from fit for purpose with troubled teenagers falling through the cracks.
The play tackled some very serious themes with great care and reminded me about my last experience of watching something in a theatre that is not a typical or expected topic Glasgow Girls by Cora Bissett comes to mind. Both productions cover topics that are brought to life by giving us a view into the lives of those who should expect to be protected but through no fault of their own the system fails them.
Watching with me was my sister who also enjoyed the play and pointed out the repeating theme of wholeness, several characters employed different solutions in an attempt to feel whole, relying on religious experiences or synthetic stimulants. This was further reinforced when the pastor in the play prayed for the main character and made a reference to her feeling whole again following some very powerful revelations regarding her own past. The cast highly skilled at bringing to life the complex drivers involved in the issues of when the state has to step in to ensure the most vulnerable member of a family, a baby (Luna Gale) requires assistance. The set backdrop of grey box files underlined that feeling of an overload system bursting at the seams.
A few years ago I read “The sweetest Swing in Baseball” by Gilman which I really enjoyed but unfortunately didn’t manage to catch on stage. So I was very happy to see another example of her work. Having enjoyed Luna Gale and the important journey it took the audience on it’s definitely a play I would recommend.