Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Dreaming of a better life, a man abandons everything he knew and embarks on an epic journey towards the moon. It takes him from the neon smog of the city to the heights of a treacherous mountain and beyond. Critically acclaimed Rhum and Clay weaves myth, absurd humour and their unique visual style into a darkly comic and sublimely ridiculous tale about our insatiable desire to venture into the unknown.
Man In the Moone by Rhum and Clay is an unlimited feast for the eyes; the Lecoq trained physical actors tell a story of a man on a voyage to the moon. He wants to leave his city life behind. Unable to avoid its force, the moon’s magnetic power draws him in. He meets people along the way, who share the same desire. Hand in hand they set off on a quest of lunacy, where the known world loses its power to the unknown, where the status quo is left behind by those who dare to fly to the moon.
This simple story was inspired by a book, written in 1638, called The Man in the Moone, which was cited as one of the first works of science fiction. The writers of this play use this as their starting point for a show which symbolises mans’ efforts to achieve the impossible.
I particularly favoured the first half. The choreographic techniques used to translate the high-rise life of a city man; the clubs, the shots, and the drugs was sharp and slick. The relentless treadmill that modern man is chained to, was projected with vigour and style.
‘The man’, was played by Julian Spooner with sensitivity and vulnerability. Supporting members Christopher Harrison, Daniel Wilcox and Matthew Wells, skilfully shape shifted, brought the story to life. I was particularly moved by the separation between ‘the man’ and his wife. Who knew granny earrings and a pretty dress could be so effective?
The design of the piece is clean and simple, with a unique slanted set which served different purposes. It not only providied an effective perspective of the performance area, it doubled up as a platform for some beautifully devised shadow puppetry. The boys supported each other with clever and innovative lighting.
This is a masterful piece of physical theatre, combined with the elements of visual storytelling, play, striking visuals, shadow puppetry and contemporary dance.
Rhum and Clay are a company to look out for.