In pieces: A gripping play on life after a child goes missing | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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In pieces: A gripping play on life after a child goes missing

Watch the India debut of Ruby Moon at G5A this weekend.

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2017 13:23 IST
Shikha Kumar
Tavish Bhattacharyya and Kyla D’Souza play Ray and Sylvie Moon, whose daughter disappears while on her way to her grandmother’s house. Years later, someone starts sending them bits of her favourite doll in the post.
Tavish Bhattacharyya and Kyla D’Souza play Ray and Sylvie Moon, whose daughter disappears while on her way to her grandmother’s house. Years later, someone starts sending them bits of her favourite doll in the post.
Ruby Moon
  • Where: G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, Mahalaxmi
  • When: November 11 and 12, 7.30 pm
  • Cost: Rs 550. Tickets available on insider.in

On a quiet day in the suburban town of Flaming Tree Grove, six-year-old Ruby, clad in a red dress, left home to visit her grandmother at the end of the street. She never returned. Years later, her parents Sylvie and Ray Moon are still trying to figure out what happened when they receive an anonymous package containing a body part from Ruby’s favourite doll.

Over the next few days, more packages, each containing bits of the dismembered doll, arrive at the Moons’ doorstep.

First staged in 2003, playwright Matt Cameron’s Ruby Moon went on to become a much-acclaimed Australian production, finding its way into school curricula too. The whodunit will premiere in India this weekend, with actors Tavish Bhattacharyya and Kyla D’Souza playing Ray and Sylvie.

Directed by Glenn Hayden, Ruby Moon is part of an initiative by The Peas and Carrots Theatre Co to bring more Australian productions to India. “It’s a play that transcends borders. Its themes of grief, loss and marriage are universal,” Hayden says.

Hear from others who’ve staged the play

Apart from portraying the couple, Bhattacharya and D’Souza also play the role of the male and female neighbours in the town. As part of their preparation, the duo watched interviews of people whose children had gone missing and researched visual depictions of grief and despair.

“It’s not a linear, straightforward script. With each character and scene, you’re changing the audience’s perceptions,” says Bhattacharya.

Hayden also references ‘Theatre of Catastrophe’, the term coined by British playwright Howard Barker to describe narratives where each member of the audience draws their own interpretations, instead of a collective response. “The audience will experience heightened catastrophe. The play forces them to introspect, posing more questions than answers,” he says.