A girl goes missing during the last eclipse of the last millennium, in 1999. As the play begins, the 'friends' who were last with her are waiting to be questioned by the authorities; the show alternates between each of the characters being questioned, and the events as they unfolded that evening. The entire script is in the form of a poem by "one of Britain's greatest living poets" (no further details are provided), but as a way to structure a play, it proves to have its flaws.
On the day of the eclipse, six children (or maybe teenagers, we're never told) gather on the beach, playing games and pulling tricks on each other. There is the boy Klondike, who seems to be their leader, and tomboy Tulip, who likes him. There's also high-as-a-kite Glue Boy, blind-as-a-bat Midnight, and the vain twins who like being twins, Polly and Jane. Their presence at the eclipse seems to be some sort of a cult ritual gathering, although there's no explanation why. Lucy Lime, the girl who later goes missing, turns up unexpectedly – and they let her 'tag along'.
Lucy seems elfin and fairly harmless at first; but as the story progresses, she messes up everyone else's USP. She convinces the twins to take their make-up off, making them look 'almost naked'; she exposes the face of Klondike's favourite trick, and cheats Tulip at a game. There is something about her character that is not quite right, a fact that's portrayed very well. The twins also impress, speaking their lines in tandem with flawless coordination.
But throughout, the actors seem to be working with some very unwieldy material. For the first half of the play, it's far from clear what's actually going on. The children are trying to decide what games to play or joking around amongst themselves; this doesn't seem to advance the storyline in any way whatsoever. The series of interrogations does not lead to an answer either, and so, you may leave feeling quite puzzled and frustrated.
Even so, there are glimpses of good acting, and the light and sound are effective and atmospheric. At times, including during the eclipse itself, the choice of poetry over prose lends a fair degree of surrealism to the action. In the end then, I didn't really "get" Eclipse – but although I personally didn't enjoy the lack of resolution, I do realise there are some who will appreciate coming away with that feeling of uncertainty.