Edinburgh Fringe 2023
Lisa Pezik plays the heroine, Luna, as well as nineteen other characters, in her dark musical comedy which is autobiographical. The show consists of 11 songs, of varying lengths, which portray her own personal journey. Mental health and family relationships being the core of the piece. Luna suffers at the hands of her narcissistic mother which leads to an eating disorder and alcohol abuse. A 70-minute roller coaster of feelings for the leading character, as well as the audience.
Pezik plays the leading character, Luna, with such innocent eyes and cute expressions creating an instant warmth to this role, resulting in the audience wanting her to do well. When her mother gets in the way with her harsh and unloving attitude, the audience feel protective and want Luna to succeed despite her narcissistic upbringing.
The stage is simply set with three chairs in a row. Nice and simple for that is all that is needed. Pezik creates many locations including bars, beaches and hospitals, via her words and actions, so a complex set is not necessary.
All musical numbers have a different tone to represent a different part of the story, and her journey to becoming who she is meant to be. Two songs which stand out are ‘I Wish I Was Smaller’ with its catchy and memorable melody, about Luna wanting to be thinner because of her mothers wishes (not her own). The other being ‘Warrior’ about how she will not give up , which has strong tones of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’. Pezik has a lovely singing voice which she uses at the correct volume and manner for the space she is in. At moments she ‘speak sings’ creating another level of performance that sits perfectly within the piece. She sings along to a backing track which is suitable for a studio theatre environment. Sad songs were followed by uplifting numbers, keeping a nice mix of highs and lows for viewers.
Unfortunately, there was the noise of groups of people talking which leaked in from outside of the theatre, which was irritating, particularly in sorrowful moments of the story. Pezik did not let this affect her performance, even though sadly the atmosphere was affected in these moments.
Audience members were laughing, crying, then returned to laughing again, as they explored Luna’s journey with her. The underlying message of the show is to be who you want to be. The audience learns about how having a narcissistic parent can be damaging, but it is more than that. It is about knowing who is important in your life and putting them first. Pezik clearly states the importance of finding help when your mental health is affected, alongside raising awareness of narcissism. Audience members learn about narcissistic abuse, how it can start in childhood and carries on into adulthood. Words from narcissists are soul destroying and unforgivable. However many times Luna would go back to her mother, she would always be let down. Her mother never stood up to the stereotype of the caring protective role model that Luna craved. How many times will she ask her Mum for help until she gives up?
A hidden gem of this year’s fringe. Audiences will love seeing a mixture of topics explored via drama and song. Happiness and sadness conveyed by a variety of characters which keeps the entertainment strong. Educational and thought provoking, yet also fun.
Overall this is a comedic yet emotional musical consisting of 20 characters and 11 original songs, exploring narcissism, life decisions and finding a personal truth.