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Ruby Moon

Revision notes for exams

christine baynie

on 4 February 2016

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Transcript of Ruby Moon

Ruby Moon by Matt Cameron
Ruby Moon is a story about a little girl who sets off to visit her grandma, just like a fairytale, but never arrives. The child randomly taken from our midst is an all-too-common tragedy which threatens us in a deeply primal way. Innocence is corrupted and our world is distorted, with even the benign rendered ominous. This play is acutely theatrical in its conceit and set in the fictional Flaming Tree Grove, a slice of David Lynch suburbia where a dark underbelly lurks beneath an idyllic, picture-perfect veneer.
(Matt Cameron, Introduction to the play, pg vii)
Context of the playwright:
"I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne among rows of anonymous and homogenous houses, a place precariously pleased with itself, a time of slow summer days etched with the echo of Mr Whippy's ice-cream van, of streets filled with children enchanted by the clarion call of 'Greensleeves'. Mr Whippy was suburbia's Pied Piper, crawling by in hypnotically sinister slow motion. Even if you didn't have coins in your pocket you'd run after him in the hope of a benevolent miracle. Mostly you ended up watching smug children lick their ice-creams. But even the watching was an event. (Matt Cameron)
Useful quotes from Matt Cameron:

'The child randomly taken from our midst is an all-too-common tragedy which threatens us in a deeply primal way.'
'Innocence is corrupted and our world is distorted, with even the benign rendered ominous.'

'...a slice of David Lynch suburbia where a dark underbelly lurks beneath an idyllic, picture-perfect veneer.'

'It was a world where neighbors dutifully waved but had no idea who each other really was or what went on over the fence, behind the curtains. For that is the ingenious deceit of suburbia: that proximity equals intimacy, fraternity, community. The suburbs can be a very lonely place, theri great myth being that by huddling together we are inherently safe. But the darker recesses of human nature have never operated on a geographic principle.'

'The conception of Ruby Moon from the outset was for two actors to inhabit all of its eccentric characters'

'The chameleon properties of the actor, transforming before our very eyes: for me it is the essence of theater magic.'

Theatre exists in the imagination of the beholder.''A solitary spotlight on an actor on an otherwise dark stage draws out eye tot he wonder about the darkness being pierced. What do we imagine exists in that darkness?'

Theatre is, quite wonderfully, artifice. Its very lifeblood is the suspension of disbelief. It is about doors within false walls that seem real, that lead nowhere and yet everywhere, and behind them, beyond them, the world of our imagination, the backstage of our existence, vast realms of parallel life. To me the theatre has always seemed a beautiful lie.'

'...a blind man ina dark room looking for a black hat which isn't there.' (Lord Bowen)
For me this quote resonates withthe mystery at the heart of Ruby Moon. It is not necessarily about the black hat. It is about the blind man in the dark room looking for it. (Melbourne , June 2005)
Theatrical conceit: two actors playing all the characters in the play by simple changes to costumes and props, coats and hats, along with the body, voice and perhaps accents to create each new character.
(playwrights notes)
elements of drama:
setting: as described on page 1 takes place in one room. Could this be a metaphor for being trapped in the world of grief, reliving the source of this grief over and over?
time and place: 'a timeless, placeless world (reflective of expressionism)
character: see character list 'Do any of these characters really exist in the play or are they 'fragments of the dreams' or 'part of the same nightmare?' (expressionism)
symbol: the doll and mannequin: representations of Ruby, imitating humanity, reflecting childhood.
sound: 'Greensleaves'
Sylvie: a representation of the 'grief' that a mother feels at the loss of a child. She is tortured by the loss of Ruby and is still searching for answers.
Find quotes that best represent Silvie as a grieving mother.
Ray: a representation of the man who shoulders the responsibility of his family. He is a broken man too, who is trying to solve the mystery.
Find quotes that show Ray as a man in search of the truth about his daughter.
Dulcie Doily: the spinster- an old eccentric lady who is a little mad. This character makes a comment on 'Christian hypocrisy' and the fear instilled in the followers or believers by the church.
What quote best sums up Dulcie?
What is message is Cameron giving to the audience through this character?
Sid Craven: the clown - a strange character who epitomizes the outcast in society, people who don't fit into the 'normal' mold, and because of this they may be the first person someone might suspect as a perpetrator of evil. In our culture, people who commit crimes against children are called 'monsters' so therefore must look or behave in this way. It is easier for people to believe that odd, weird, strange people are more likely to be guilty of the crimes against children than those who are beautiful, successful or are more like the proverbial 'us'.
Veronica Vale: the singer. She represents
the sexual temptress. A game player. She explores
ideas of seduction and notions about 'innocence'.
She also introduces doubt about Rays integrity.
What are the lines that show this?
Sonny Jim: the soldier. A symbol of the military, precision, emotionless, methodical. The relationship he has with his mother, as well as his fascination with fire arms, makes him look suspicious.
Describe the atmosphere of this scene?
How does Cameron use this character to change the tone of the scene?
Dawn: the babysitter. This character represents the girls in our society who have low self image and disfigure themselves because they don't fit the 'projected images of the mass media' of beauty. The doll is also a major symbol in her story.
Carl Ogle: the inventor - represents the mad
scientist who is trying to invent 'the portable
black hole'. This character explores the ideas about
scientific conclusions or drawing the wrong
conclusions. He tricks the audience into believing that he is to blame, however as Sylvie presses for more clarity it becomes clear that he is less powerful than first assumed and that his own loss has turned him a little unstable as well.

The play raises issues about:
life in suburbia
child abuse
Full transcript