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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Ruby Moon

Ruby Moon is a subversive re-jig of Little Red Riding Hood that "begins like a fairytale" but ends somewhere else entirely.
By Hilary Simmons
May 02, 2011
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By Hilary Simmons
May 02, 2011
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If the cloying coverage of a certain “fairytale” wedding has left you craving something satisfyingly dark and bittersweet, Ruby Moon asks why red-hooded children never make it safely to grandmamma’s house. It is a subversive re-jig of Little Red Riding Hood that “begins like a fairytale,” but ends somewhere else entirely. The best fairytales, after all, are fractured and fraught with danger; they meld tenderness with malice and romance with depravity.

One day little Ruby Moon puts on her red dress and sets off to visit her grandmother at the end of the cul de sac. She never returns. Unable to compress their grief or console each other, her parents resort to re-enactment as a form of solace. When brown paper parcels containing dismantled doll parts start arriving on their doorstep, their suspicions take on a new, warping desperation and they begin interrogating their neighbours in earnest. They refuse to refer to Ruby in the past tense, convinced that behind closed doors, someone knows what happened to their daughter…

Ruby Moon was short-listed for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, and is playwright Matt Cameron's most celebrated play. It's both a profoundly felt moral story and a surreal tragicomedy about the terrible price of love. It begs the question, if little Ruby had even reached her grandmamma's, would she have been better off?

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