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Moth – TheatreWorks (VIC)

Directed by Briony Dunn. Written by Declan Greene.

Reviewed by Martha "MJ" Latham

Theatreworks, St Kilda

Until Saturday 3rd June


- Martha is relieved that Melbourne Theatre is good again and 'Moth' is a stellar example of this! -

Moth directed by Briony Dunn, is an extraordinary theatrical masterpiece that takes its audience on a profound and captivating journey of self-discovery and the human connection. With brilliant performances by the talented cast, exquisite costume design by Betty Auhl, mesmerizing lighting design by Niklas Pajanti, evocative sound design by Darrin Verhagen, and innovative production design by Justin Gardam, Niklas Pajanti, and Briony Dunn, this play is a true gem that deserves the highest accolades.

The audience is transported into a world filled with raw emotions and poignant storytelling. It’s easy to write teens wrong, either they’re completely obtuse, angsty and self-obsessed, or they’re not obtuse, angsty and self-obsessed enough. Under the expert guidance of director Dunn, the cast effortlessly breathes real teenage life into these characters, immersing us in their struggles and triumphs. Lucy Ansell delivers a powerhouse performance, from start to finish they captivate you with impeccably timed whipsass (a word I’ve invented) and every one of her additional characters is played with the incredible realistic caricature required of this kind of writing. Adam Noviello's portrayal is equally compelling, displaying remarkable versatility and depth. Compared with SENSER, Moth highlights Noviello’s range and defines them as a performer to watch. The chemistry between the two actors is palpable, creating a magnetic on-stage connection that keeps us engaged throughout.

Images by Daniel Rabin

Auhl's attention to detail is impeccable, and her ability to evoke the essence of each character through their clothing is commendable, particularly when paired with Pajanti's lighting design, itself a masterclass in enhancing mood and atmosphere. With each subtle shift in colour and intensity, Pajanti skillfully guides us through the emotional landscapes of the play, intensifying the impact of every scene. The interplay between light and shadow adds a layer of depth to the storytelling, capturing the essence of the characters' inner struggles and external conflicts. The meticulously crafted soundscape seamlessly integrates with the narrative, creating a rich auditory tapestry that immerses the audience in the world of Moth.

The innovative production design by Gardam, Pajanti, and Dunn is relatively plain, but engaging nonetheless. The set seamlessly transitions between different locations, effortlessly transporting us from Cricket pitch to Mcdonalds playground. The use of space and props is nothing new, but it is undoubtedly masterful in its execution. Gardam continues his tradition of filling the massive Theatreworks space by hanging loads of stuff from the ceiling, an artistic signature that never fails to please.

Moth is an absolute must-see, leaving a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of witnessing.

Moth is an exceptional theatrical production that deserves every accolade it receives. From the stellar performances to the remarkable craftsmanship of the production elements, this play is a shining example of the power of live theatre. The entire team has created a transcendent experience that should not be missed. Moth is an absolute must-see, leaving a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of witnessing.


VENUE Theatre Works


75 Minutes


Strong language, loud sounds, flashing lights, themes of mass destruction, depression, mental health, bullying and theatrical violence. Moth is suitable for school years 10-12. The MOTH script will be available for purchase from the theatre box office ($25 each).



Briony Dunn (she/her)


Betty Auhl (she/her)


Niklas Pajanti (he/him)


Darrin Verhagen (he/him)


Justin Gardam (he/him), Niklas Pajanti & Briony Dunn


Natasha Marich (she/her)


Lucy Ansell (she/they)

Adam Noviello (they/them)


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