Ruby Moon by Sam Stopforth
Ruby Moon written by Matt Cameron in 2003 is a presentational non-realistic, contemporary Australian drama with representational elements in reference to its development of characters. The style is also that of a psychodrama as it exposes the gargantuan holes in Ray and Sylvie’s state of mind as the story unfolds their psychological flaws become more and more conspicuous to the audience. It also takes on the style of an absurdist drama as this means that a realistic lifestyle is portrayed in the text although in an unrealistic or exaggerated (presentational) way. As the director and dramaturge for this production, I have chosen an exert from scene three as an example which include the characters of Sid and Sylvie.
This exert was chosen as I believe it presents clear references of the three underlying themes of the play while also staying true to the festivals focus of Australian society. One of these is that the climate of fear and mistrust in contemporary times and the increasing distance, suspicion, doubt and paranoia it can lead to within communities and neighborhoods. This idea is shown in the scene when Sid asks Sylvie “are you going to hurt me?” In which Sylvie responds, “Why would you think I’d hurt you?” To which Sid replies, “Well why else would you be here!” Here Cameron is displaying to us the full embodied sense of distrust among these neighbours and commenting on the state of paranoia that these characters would had to have reached to achieve this. In contemporary Australian society today the country and even world are a lot more aware of the possible dangers that might be lurking around every corner and that the elderly today believe the world is so much more dangerous nowadays then it might have been ten, twenty or even fifty years ago closer to their generation. But the only reason we even know about these horrible conflicting worse case scenarios is because of the media. The media and technology is advancing and it will never stop. And as we press on into the future more and more information is getting revealed to the public. So when we hear about any horrific story that happened the other week in this dangerous postmodern world we live in. We have to remind ourselves that maybe it is not the world and its communities that have changed but the resources that are attainable to the public which has made our generation just a little more aware and less ignorant of the possible dangers the world can bring.
The theme of the corruption of innocence is also clearly demonstrated in this exert when we hear Sid say to Sylvie “Doors are locked, windows shut tight. Curtains drawn on this once friendly picture book neighborhood.” The significance of this line is that although he is not referring to ruby, what he says is in reference to the sudden paranoia and tension that has struck this neighborhood since ruby’s disappearance and symbolic of the overall innocence that is lost gradually throughout the play. In the beginning it is progressive as originally we feel sympathy for Ray and Sylvie as we find that they have lost their daughter as this the most ghastly, unspeakable, nightmarish thing that could ever happen to anybody, especially a family is to lose ones child. This idea is reflected in modern Australian society as well and is commenting on they way that communities react to situations like this one that Ray and Sylvie find themselves in and the way in which people conduct themselves and deal with the distress and paranoia that begin to set I afterwards. Later as the play progress we find out that this neighborhood that these people supposedly live in is nothing more than some sick twisted game and the audience is lead to believe that either there was a ruby that was taken form them and this is some kind of sick, twisted charade the two of them play as they cant let go. Or that maybe there was never any Ruby, maybe these two conflicting main characters are just insane and...
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