MOOT MOOT

‘What’s going on…??’

It is relentless, loud, and transfixing.

Rosana Cade cries, with their head in the seat of a swivel chair, spinning slowly in front of a fixated and silent audience.

‘What’s going on…??’

Responds Ivor MacAskill, lying on his front and discovering that his swivel chair has an unfoldable footrest. He gazes at it like it’s a new form of adultery. A passion he has yet to know and which he finds fascinating to the point of absorption.

No one knows what’s going on. Not Cade or MacAskill, not the audience, not the characters that Cade or MacAskill play (both called ‘Barry’) – welcome to Moot Moot.

Moot Moot opens with a long extended physical sequence, where Cade and MacAskill painstakingly pull themselves across the space of Summerhall’s Dissection Room. They graspingly extend and reach towards each other, only to curl back in on themselves. White noise pounds the room, and then Cade and MacAskill notice the swivel chairs. These chairs become the essential backbone of their piece and the focal point for the rest of the show.

Cade and MacAskill are presenters – they are presenting a show. Their characters are called Barry, and Barry. Each Barry overlays and interrupts the other one, with repeated pronouncements that they want to hear our opinion – listeners are invited with relentless aplomb, to ‘Tell us about your day’, ‘it’s all about YOU’, and (my favourite) ‘what’s going ON?

It is a kind of newsroom madness. What Cade and MacAskill really strike the heart of is how much noise there actually is in everyday life – all the questions, all the ‘how are you?’s, all the conversations with colleagues that are a placatory kind of social construct, tiny units in a great big momentous nothing.

The conceit of Moot Moot really does work – Barry and Barry are grating, but Cade and MacAskill make us care about why they are like this. Caught in relentless loops of their own design, fascinated by the chairs that support them, they take the space and do not relinquish it. It is very funny. Their breakfast show never begins, it never happens, and it never really ends. It is just there, a kind of screaming purgatorial constant.

Within this, though, are opportunities to explore some real darkness within the conceit. This happens to an extent but it feels like it is smothered as soon as it is revealed. Moot Moot slingshots very quickly back into its safeties – ‘Tell us about your day’, ‘It’s all about YOU’, ‘what’s going ON?’ More time exploring the darkness of the Barrys, and their vulnerabilities, would be a deeply rewarding spectacle.

Cade and MacAskill have managed to design a full emotional spectrum with naught but two matching suits, two swivel chairs, and impeccably tight and regimented sound design. Their performances are distorted membranes of themselves – spinning, crawling, bouncing across their own landscape. An unusual piece, which never feels like a farce of itself. It is relentless, loud, and transfixing.

Reviews by Skot Wilson

Above the Stag Theatre

The Establishment Versus Sidney Harry Fox

★★★★
The Space

The Cloak of Visibility

★★★★
Royal Court Theatre

Shoe Lady

★★★
Royal Court Theatre

A Kind of People

★★★★
Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre

Three Sisters

★★★★
Royal Court Theatre

Midnight Movie

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Doppelganger DJs Barry and Barry desperately seek connection with the world beyond... Two of Scotland's finest live artists, Rosana Cade (Walking:Holding, Sister) and Ivor MacAskill (STUD, Alma Mater), spew out their dark and riotous take on modern communication, as the identical hosts in a surreal phone-in talk show. Finding humour, warmth and despair in the absurd, they spin a thick web of cliches and catchphrases in their outer space echo-chamber, accompanied by a weird, wild soundscape by Yas Clarke. www.madeinscotlandshowcase.com. www.britishcouncil.org/edinburghshowcase. ***** 'Spooky, sinister, skilful' (VoiceMag.uk) **** 'Sharp, smart and seriously entertaining' (Herald).

Most Popular See More

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets