In Moonlight After Midnight, a mysterious romance by Concrete Drops playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, a man and woman meet in a hotel room, and we’re not sure why they’re there.
The two unnamed characters act out scenes that may or may not be real, and the rest of this show unfolds like a long series of riddles. The entire time I was struggling to figure out what was going on, but the audience is given just enough clues to stay hooked. The resolution is both poignant and satisfying.
Moonlight After Midnight is very well written, with a lean script that doesn’t pull any punches. It has enough comedic beats to provide levity, but when it delves into heavier dramatic material it hits very hard.
I confess; I have soft spot for dark and tragic romance and this hit all the right notes for me.
Martin Dockery is the show’s creator and play’s the unnamed man, and Vanessa Quesnelle is the dramaturge and the woman. Dockery has an easygoing charm, and Quesnelle is magnetic as she flits between sultry and vulnerable. These two are stellar, expressive performers that have magnificent onstage chemistry.
This production features the most passionate, steamy kiss that I’ve ever seen onstage. Seriously, I’ve never been someone to get caught up in this but it was so intimate it made me want to delete Tinder from my phone.
Some shows I see here at the Fringe are amazing, but they just seem to belong solely to the people that made them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t just see Moonlight After Midnight as a show that will exist only within its creators’ repertoire. Rather, I can envision other people wanting to put this on as well. I think that is the greatest praise I’ve ever given an original script, and on top of that the production itself was utterly heartbreaking and beautiful.
This is one of those reviews where I’m at a loss for anything more to say because it’s all positive. If dark and sultry romance, or just good theatre, is your thing then you should go see this show. Maybe leave your phones off for an hour afterwards or you might call an ex (I didn’t do it, but I definitely thought about it).
- Moonlight After Midnight plays at the Tarragon Mainspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
- Tickets are $12. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Scadding Court, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is barrier-free. The designated accessible seating is in the middle of the auditorium.
- Friday July 7th, 07:00 pm
- Saturday July 8th, 12:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 04:45 pm
- Monday July 10th, 06:45 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 10:30 pm
- Friday July 14th, 06:00 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 02:15 pm
Image of Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle by Will O’Hare.
2 thoughts on “Moonlight After Midnight (Concrete Drops) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review”
Yeah, I saw this one today and it really had an impact on me. Highly recommend for people to check it out. I saw 5 today alone and this one has been my highlight of Fringe so far (Really liked Brainstorm this morning today too).
I saw Moonlight After Midnight and then Delirium last night. I loved both of them. I have to admit that I didn’t realize Martin Dockery was in both when I bought the tickets.
Moonlight After Midnight was everything that Stephen said. The only thing I would add is that it had a surreal quality that I loved. Early in the play I stopped trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. I decided it didn’t matter.
The chemistry between Quesnelle and Dockery are married in real life, some that I found out in Delirium.
Stephen, have you seen Delirium? It’s Dockery’s one-person story telling show and it’s so different from Moonlight After Midnight. His energy level is unbelievable, especially considering that he does the show immediately after another one.
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