Fly Me To The Moon is the second Irish comedy written by Marie Jones and directed by John P Kelly to hit Ottawa stages this season. The difference this time is it’s a two-woman show instead of a two-man show.
Should you see it?
Very fun. Very funny. The most fun comedy so far this season.
Frances and Loretta are a pair of care workers struggling to eek out a living, support their families, and stay above the poverty line the best way they can on a meager six quid an hour (approx. $7.70CAD). Money woes run deep for them both and they’d both love nothing more than to take up an opportunity for a weekender to Spain for a fellow worker’s hen’s weekend. So what, then, are they to do, when a potentially victimless way to sneak an extra few hundred dollars falls into their laps?
That’s the idea behind Fly Me To The Moon, a very funny black comedy that sees a client, Davy McGee, die on the two women’s watch leaving them to realize they could make good on some money owed to the dead man – after all, he doesn’t need it, he’d want them to have it – so long as they can keep people from knowing he’s dead long enough to claim it. Therein lies the comedy, as their deceit and guilt even over these at first minor indiscretions lead them through one darkly humorous scene into the next as the avalanche they started continues to build momentum until the deeply ironic ending.
Margo MacDonald and Mary Ellis are pretty close to perfect in look and portrayal of care workers, Loretta Mackie, whose unemployed husband spends his days phoning in to try out for quiz shows, and Frances Shields, deeply proud of her son’s entrepreneurial spirit in starting a bootleg DVD business. The two actresses bring the lives of Loretta and Frances to life in a way that you can’t help but relate to the plight and decisions they’re faced with at the same time you’re laughing at what they’ve gotten themselves into.
Really, it’s how human and relatable they are that helps draw you in and enjoy the laughs even more. One of those “years from now, we’ll look back at this and laugh” deals.
Between the actresses, the text they have to work with, and the lovely set, whose design perfectly evokes an old British sitcom, with muted colours and design, it’s super easy immerse yourself and become completely engrossed in the world of the play.
And whether you’ll laugh more at the moments that hit you completely unawares or the ones where you’ll be about two minutes ahead of Loretta and Frances and are anticipating the reveal depends on you. Either way you’ll laugh.
Fly Me To The Moon runs on the main stage of the Great Canadian Theatre Company until November 18th. Full details here.
What did you think? What moment had you laughing hardest? Did you see the ending coming? Join the discussion in the comments below.