Women on the horns of a moral dilemma

Tara Lynne O'Neill and Katie Tumelty in Fly Me To The Moon
Jane Hardy


Fly Me To The Moon

Lyric Theatre


FLY me to the Moon is vintage Marie Jones which, having already jetted off to New York, has now landed at the Lyric where it opened last night with lovely snippets of Frank Sinatra.

It's classier than some of the recent female dramas that draw in the hen-night crowds and, yes, I'm thinking about Patsy and later Maggie Muff outings.

It's reminiscent of Joe Orton's Loot, only with Jones's typically earthy Belfast touches. She's got really lucky in her leading ladies, Tara Lynne O'Neill and Katie Tumelty; they play a couple of care workers who have to deal with some real dilemmas.

Under their green nylon uniforms, Loretta (O'Neill) has instinctive morality, while Frances (Tumelty) is more worldly and open to temptation. It duly arrives when their charge, old Mr Davy McQuinn (whom we never see), is found dead on the loo. As Frances says at the start, he just had to go so she let him.

But the girls – who are both strapped for cash, with dependants demanding Alton Towers trips and one husband jobless – realise nobody need know that he doesn't need his pension money this week.

The challenge and, well, smell of old age isn't glossed over but the lines are darkly funny. The women gradually realise Mr McQuinn isn't ever going to exit the loo and then follows a very clever and funny examination of the biblical tag about the love of money.

But it certainly ain't preachy. The pair debate what to do, succumb to temptation in the initial shape of a modest £60 each, and still have the problem of the body in the bathroom.

Fly Me flows on with some truly good acting. The ethical ante is upped when Frances puts old Davy's weekly bet on, to create a sense of non-dead normality – and of course, it romps home so £500 is now potentially available to women with relaxed morals.

We all laughed, thought about what we'd do ourselves. How did it end for them? An ironic twist which I won't spoil.


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