In the earliest days of January when most theatres are still running their Christmas show or still gearing up to produce, the Finborough comes to the rescue most years with a chunky piece of new writing. Canadian new writing often gets overlooked here, but the Finborough has an honourable history of giving UK premieres to Canadian work and continues with David French’s modern classic—written in 1984—about a young man returning to a Newfoundland fishing village to reclaim his sweetheart only to discover she is set to marry another man.
It’s a splendid moon-filled night in Coley’s Point in 1926. Young Jacob Mercer has returned home to the tiny and remote Newfoundland fishing village, desperate to win back his former sweetheart, Mary Snow. But Mary has become engaged to wealthy Jerome McKenzie and is still hurt and bewildered by Jacob’s abrupt departure for Toronto a year earlier. Even to speak to Jacob will put Mary’s wedding plans in jeopardy. Stubborn and independent, she is determined never to forgive Jacob… Salt-Water Moon is a Canadian classic. First staged by Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, in 1984, it has received hundreds of productions around North America and the world since its premiere. It won the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for Drama, the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, the Hollywood Drama-Logue Critics’ Award, and was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award for Drama. One of the plays that makes up David French’s semi-autobiographical ‘Mercer plays’ series, Salt-Water Moon now receives its long overdue UK professional premiere at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre, well known for producing more Canadian plays than any other theatre in Europe.