“Bright and satiric…
Few other writers are so good at telling a story while arguing an intellectual point.” NOW
In Belle Moral: A Natural History, we are steeped in a world on the cusp between magic and art, and science and madness. Set in 1899 just outside Edinburgh, the play unfolds in the venerable estate known as Belle Moral, home to Pearl MacIsaac, an avid amateur paleontologist and proud “new woman”; her maiden Aunt Flora, a sweetly maternal figure who nonetheless keeps an iron-grip on her set of keys; and a staff of quirky household retainers who seem to know more than they are willing say. As Pearl steels herself for the reading of her late father’s will and the inevitable arrival of her wayward younger brother, Victor, she also does her best to dismiss the sinister signs that her home may house another occupant…one whose existence her aunt and the good Doctor Reid seem determined to keep secret.
This dark yet redemptive gothic comedy is a story both of family secrets that come to life, and the birth pangs of the modern era – but above all, it is truly a play of morals. Reaching out in two directions to reconcile the extremes of rationalism and romanticism, Belle Moral embraces a complex range of thought with Ann-Marie MacDonald’s incisive insight and trademark wit.
“An extremely intelligent and erudite play that mixes the comic and gothic stylistically, with the scientific and political thematically.” The Globe and Mail