The Moon Men tackles the big questions. Well, not so much questions as facts. The world is large and when you’re this small it feels insurmountable. Growing up as a millennial, The Moon Men feels like a conversation as much as it feels like a cry for help. In the information age how are we supposed to make simple choices when there is so much option? If the world were to end tomorrow what would we have done that would have mattered?
This is The Moon Men’s third cycle (the first being at Vena Cava Production’s Fresh Blood and the second at FAST last year). This the second time I’ve seen it staged and its certainly different. Sure, the script has changed, it’s a tighter work, but the repeated jokes don’t land the same twice. So when you take away the comedy what’s left? A fair bit it turns out. Humour is a point of accessibility for these hard truths but it’s refreshing in a way to strip it back and look at the show for what it is: information and the search for purpose.
This time around, The Moon Men was reborn in the Greaser carpark – a venue which has certainly been a set-back in terms of the loud surroundings (although this was surely anticipated), however, it seems that the cast and crew are working with what they have, building an almost pillow fort like structure to hold out the sound – and it works. The Moon Men in itself and its realisation is a comment on the world we live in. The show began as awkwardly as the music set before them (Julia R. Anderson, who was an interesting lead into the show’s surrealistic tone), fumbly and slow with sound checks and the like. The show started forty minutes later than the website suggested. However, the pacing was a little tighter than its original production. There was (sadly) no trip to the moon, and some characters (who were mostly in for comedic value) were reduced to a line or two. Stand out performance of the night was Gina Limpus as Brandon From the Moon whose otherworldly physicality defined the Moon Men’s sense of otherness and props also to Benny Gane whose embodiment of the Wandering Jew seemed to carry the full weight of the world with it (confusing Madonna dance sequences aside).
The show had no pretense, no ego. It worked with all that a young artist has – some blanket sheets in lieu of a projection screen and a hearty script that speaks to who we are and the world we live in. The entire show is a phrase that everyone thinks is said about them and to create that kind of community of understanding can only be a good thing.
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the show on the 8th of May.
Full disclaimer: this reviewer is friends with cast and creatives of the show.