Tarragon Theatre’s next stellar offering is Anosh Irani’s Behind the Moon. Directed by former Artistic Director Richard Rose, Behind the Moon has an almost mythical quality to it; the way the characters seem to float in and out of the same location, the lessons they have to teach one another, the tree outside the restaurant seeming to shake upon command. It’s a brilliant piece of theatre you don’t want to miss!
Michelle Tracey’s set design for Behind the Moon is absolutely perfect; it looks like every fast-food Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to, and many of the Shawarma places for that matter, with the glass counter showing off the day’s menu. Everything from the floor tiles to the large mural of the Taj Mahal is spot on. For fun, check out the phone number that’s listed on the sign for the Behind the Moon restaurant which can be seen through the door (my partner called it right away). I was certainly thankful I’d eaten before I went to see the show too, I could have eaten that whole tray of palak paneer myself!
Behind the Moon features an absolutely fabulous cast; these three performers bring such vibrant, brilliant life to their characters. Ali Kazmi plays Ayub, the spray-bottle wielding cook/cleaner of the Behind the Moon restaurant. Kazmi takes us on a journey with Ayub, breaking down the layers of his complicated life with the incredible grace and skill I have come to expect from his performances. Hussein Madhavji plays Jalal, a taxi driver who comes into the restaurant one night a little worse for wear. As we learn more about Ayub, we also learn more about his new friend Jalal, and like Kazmi, Madhavji is mesmerizing and fiercely strong as he takes us on Jalal’s emotional journey. Vick Sahay plays Qadir Bhai, the owner of Behind the Moon. Sahay is fantastic at making Qadir Bhai both understandable and despicable; a real master of the craft. All three had me totally engrossed in the story, so that when the lights came up for intermission, I was surprised at how much time had flown by. Their brilliance radiates from their characters and makes this a must-see production.
Behind the Moon runs until March 19th, so get your tickets soon! You won’t want to miss this story of loss, greed, and, eventually, freedom. For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.tarragontheatre.com/plays/behind-the-moon/
Husein Madhavji, Ali Kazmi, and Vik Sahay in Behind the Moon – Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann