MUTTS – Moore Books SA

MUTTS – Moore Books SA

Reviewed by Paul Davies

July 2015

Tony Moore has directed a talented cast in this often poignant look at the goings-on in the dog pound.

Dogs and Bitches are separated (do they do that when dogs are neutered?) and anthropomorphism runs riot as the canines worry about their fate. Will the lost owner show? Will they get the long walk before the long sleep? Will they be able to escape?

I’m all for dogs. Ours is a rescue and I don’t think a home is complete without one. But there is a problem with this play in that it’s hard to identify with the protagonists. If we’re going to have human values and emotions fostered onto animals, perhaps it would be better to aim the piece at school children. I think the values espoused in the programme and the play about the treatment of man’s best friend would be better directed at people who are forming their opinions rather than the choir that were being preached to here.

There were however some fine performances, Maxine Grubel carried much of the action, and did so solidly. Joanna Webb and Brian Godfrey were well matched and their monologues were heartrending. 

Costumes were suitably minimal, mostly consisting of ears and make-up. Canine mannerisms came through in just the right quantity to make the acting credible.


The play ended quite abruptly, I wondered if it had been cut? However the final denouements, or for some continuing stories, were actually quite satisfying. The whole has the feel of a piece that is very nearly brilliant, if I could somehow care more about the characters.

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