Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2001

**** Intelligent, touching piece of whimsy

Ben Moor's first non-solo play portrays an ordinary relationship in an extraordinary world.

Through the 1990s, Moor carved a niche for himself on the Fringe with clever, surreal one-man narrative comedies. After a while, he began to blend this with a strain of sentimentality, eventually striking the perfect combination with 1997's A Supercollider For The Family (also revived this year in an 11.00 am slot). Now he enlists Janice Phayre, half of the double act Susan and Janice, for this tale of an average couple in a period when the earth passes through a mysterious galactic cloud which grants everyone on the planet three wishes.

On the face of it, this is a simple recapitulation of the old canard "be careful what you wish for: it might come true". But Moor is so accomplished at identifying quirks of both individual personality and of the world in general, and the giving them a quarter-turn into a strange new space, that the old story comes out fresh and novel again. Moreover, he has recently acquired a physical self-confidence so that he no longer feels compelled to trade on his old, gangling persona as a man with a body made entirely of elbows. He and Phayre work well together, and the overall result is genuinely sweet.

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Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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