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Brighton Fringe 2012

Luna’s History of Madness

Yvo Luna

Genre: Poetry-Based Theatre


 Upstairs at Three and Ten


Low Down

This is a Powerpointed-performance-poetry-autobiographical-story with a song and a Jessica Rabbit. But actually it is a lovely honest story, by a nice girl. Who likes to swim, eat chocolate and occasionally jabber at walls.



Apparantly the wobbling of the Moon is known as libration. The apparent change in size is due to the eccentricity of the lunar orbit. Yvo Luna liberates us all through talking about her life wobbles, taking us willingly into an orbit of her own eccentricities.
This is a one woman performance exploring the ‘Black Dog’, as Churchill despondently named  it, and like Churchill, Yvo shows an openness to intense emotion, a questioning and brilliant mind and courage to acknowledge passionate visions, fiery thoughts and human vulnerability.
She takes us through the history of her own ‘madness’ contextualised against a snapshot of the breathtakingly bizarre remedies for insanity in the early 20th century.
Sex, and money make their usual arrival in this personal and achingly honest story, but the way they weave through this tale of tortured emotions is utterly unique and holds the audience’s attention. Electricity makes a cameo appearance, feminism has a song, but water wins the show and leaves the audience feeling inspired by the way in which Yvo holds her individuality so tenderly and with utter surrender, accepting the pulls and pushes of her own life, accepting rather than governing the tides.
The intimacy of this performance piece works well in this small and homely venue, which despite the late start, organised the flow of theatre goers smoothly and charmed us out of our quiet grumbles and tutting. The slideshow format was lovely, and there were no squirmy moments of technical glitches, Yvonne knew her story well but managed to keep it feeling fresh and unrehearsed. She used her cheeky set pieces cleverly, adding depth and interest to the show.
Despite slight performance nerves, which affected but didn’t dampen the delivery of her words, Yvonne holds the stage well, is at ease within her dis-ease and keeps a perfect pace. The moments when she really settles into her acting and her poetry, she shines like a Lune.
Her bold caricatures of lewd men are brilliantly done, gaining delighted giggles from the crowd and she peppers hers performance with poetry, humour, intimate conversation and reacts to the audience rather than acts at them.
The writing was lovely, simple and truthful. Yvonne added in a few of her own poems, bringing emphasis to the story, adding a theatrical element and enhancing the mood of her storytelling. Although she sometimes portrays traits of a tortured artist her poetry is down to earth, observationally astute and affectionately funny.
I left with a little smile on my lips and gratitude for being reminded of the healing of simple things and of being true to yourself. I got the feeling that Yvonne, in her own way, in the midst of the doubts and the extremes, is finding a spirituality all of her own that’s neither east nor west but perfectly placed, illuminating her own moonlit path. I got a lot from watching this show and it met the mood of questions and thoughts of my own.

I would tell my friends to see this, it will lighten up even the saddest of rainy days and will gently provoke fresh eyes and positive action. This literary feast was a fantastic selection of different performance methods, skillfully cooked up into a very digestible treat. 


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