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Nastazja Domaradzka

Review: The Late Henry Moss

The Late Henry Moss THE LATE HENRY MOSS at Southwark Playhouse until 26th of September. Mel Hillyard’s revival of Sam Shepard’s “The Late Henry Moss” at Southwark Playhouse is a gripping production that explores the mystery and pathology of the Moss family, unravelling the tragedy and complexity of male repression.

Henry Moss is dead. He has been dead for quite a while, but nobody really knows why. He just died. As his estranged sons attempt to find closure we slowly learn about the real weight of “tokens of guilt”.

The macho world, full of New Mexican dirt and alcohol, is well balanced in this production by the presence of the mysterious, sensual and dangerous Conchalla (Carolina Valdes), who brings a surreal feel to the whole piece with interludes of hypnotising movement and dancing, every bit as chaotic and desperate as the tragedy within the Moss household.

Mel Hillyard’s directing gets the tempo just right and Cecilia Carey’s simple design adds to the atmosphere of decay that slowly destroys the characters, creating an unbearable feeling of suffocation and a need for catharsis.

The acting in this production is absolutely flawless

The acting in this production is absolutely flawless. Harry Ditson, is completely effortless in his portrayal of the deeply troubled Henry, who even when alive doubts his existence. Jack Sandle gives Earl so many layers of complexity, allowing us to acknowledge how much effort it takes to bury pain so deep and Chris Jared’s ability to create such an enthralling and vulnerable performance is more than moving.

I am a huge advocate for theatre that makes statements on humanity and the world we live in. This production of “The Late Henry Moss” falls into that category.

If you, like myself, enjoy theatre that opens space for discussion and deals with uncomfortable subjects, then go and see “The Late Henry Moss” at The Southwark Playhouse.