It’s a hard winter for Delmore and his mother on the eve of his 21st birthday during the Great Depression. The relationship between them is strained, and the two of them argue about carrots and birthday gifts. After going to bed in anger, Delmore is transported back to watch a significant date between his parents many years earlier (his father is now out of the picture) from inside various people who were present at the time.
StoneCrabs Theatre Company stage the largely forgotten play Luna Park by the American playwright Donald Margulies. Their staging itself has a beautiful simplicity to it, but the choice of play is questionable. Written in 1982 and set in the 1930s, it is unclear what relevance it has for 2016. The story seems to be at heart a human one, with Delmore gaining a better understanding of his mother (despite not remembering this dream upon waking). However, she definitely feels like a woman from a different time, living for the men in her life and thinking nothing of allowing them to dominate her. It also ends somewhat abruptly, and it is debatable how much character development has really taken place.
Director Hattie Coupe and Movement Director Steffany George have put together a well-presented piece. The stage is littered with old wooden furniture, which is moved and manipulated by the actors in extensively choreographed scene changes to suggest amusement park rides and create various scenes. The first such sequence, in which Mr Schwartz (Delmore’s father) runs around knocking things over for Rose (his mother) to catch is particularly well-crafted.
Without an attempt to give the script a contemporary relevance, the choice of Luna Park seems like nothing more than a vehicle for a dreamlike, vintage aesthetic. That being said, it is a slick production and mesmerising to watch.