By Nora Vosbigian
Next week will see the premiere of a new London production of “Beast on the Moon.” This highly acclaimed play on the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide has been commissioned by Finborough Theatre and will be performed between 29 Jan and 23 Feb., 2019.
The setting is Milwaukee in the 1920s. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Aram, believes he will begin a new life when his teenage ‘mail-order’ bride, Seta, arrives to join him. They are a couple united by history – both survivors of the Armenian Genocide. But their painful, shared experience does nothing to promote domestic harmony as Aram is obsessed with creating a family to replace the one he lost in such savage circumstances, and Seta, just fifteen and trapped by the traditions of the old ways, struggles to embrace her new life in a new country.
Beast on the Moon was last performed in the United Kingdom at Battersea Arts Centre in 1996 to much acclaim. “Richard Kalinoski’s small, quiet play has a big, unashamedly sentimental heart as it charts Aram and Seta’s difficult marriage and explores how it is possible to live when all the rest of your family have died ” said The Guardian (London). “The past finds a sort of closure, but the author’s skill has kept us on tenterhooks throughout, uncertain whether any happy outcome can be possible” said The London Times Online and “Humane, funny and touching, ‘Beast on the Moon’ presents the claims of both past and future with fairness and empathy” commented The Independent (London)
The organisers of the play, sensitive to their subject matter, have included a number of post-performance discussions on the Armenian Genocide and its enduring legacy. They will be hosted by Ara Sarafian (Gomidas Institute), Misak Ohanian (Centre for Armenian Information and Advice) and Sally Gimson (Index on Censorship). For more information see finboroughtheatre.co.uk
AGBU London and others have been active in supporting the production of this play, as it is a powerful reminder of the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath. The play will run for a month, reaching thousands of people in the process. We should thank and support Finsborough Theatre for commissioning this work.