Moral Panic starts with an interesting premise, and characters, and has great ideas but struggles to deliver clarity to the audience with so many ideas.

Beginning with three friends and the idea of them gathering to cast a spell (or hex) on one of the girl's uncles, the play leads into another world, where their own characters and beliefs are examined and some emotional testing of the characters occur, meshing their lives of witches in the past to the girls in the play.

This sense of knowledge and history is introduced into the play by the Aunt character, who is the holder of knowledge in the play and the personification of the play, taking direct aim at the structures of patriarchy and misogyny, and the submission of women in all forms.

The audience feels the rage at inequality, but it fails by being repeatedly preachy at moments and the emotional knowledge of the characters isn't strong enough for the audience to fully understand the test or growth the three girls go through in the play - though it is clear the spell night will change their lives forever. Leaving them much wiser than they ever would have expected.

Rating: 6/10


Dates: 14 - 24 November 2018

Location: Northcote Town Hall

Times: times vary - see website for details

Darebin Arts Website