The Man in the Moone, by the clearly passionate Rhum and Clay Theatre company, tells the story of Man’s fascination with the moon and his struggle to reach it. The piece is lighthearted, visually pleasing and laced with charm.
The opening shadow puppetry is effective and underscored by a soundtrack that evokes a certain intrigue. This flows into Julian Spooner’s entrance over a crib, his expressive face and purposeful movement marking the start of a well thought out and commanding personal performance. His timing, characterisation and captivating physicality held my interest throughout the piece, and he is well supported by the strong company.
Unfortunately, such a promising start is marred by a series of blink-of-an-eye scene shifts that feel somewhat disjointed and occasionally poorly timed. The interjections of several visual asides, in which Man longingly looks toward his goal, serve as a useful reminder of the central plot line; however, the transitions between several of these asides are scrappy and slow the pace of the start of the show.
The company are above all fun to watch; they shine in sequences such as the one between Man and his wife, which was executed with near perfect comic timing. However, some of the sequences did not quite hit the mark, leaving me feeling disengaged from Man’s plight and uninvested in the storyline.
Overall this is a creative and fun piece from a talented group of performers. If the same level of creative attention to detail had been applied to transitions as the rest of the show the piece would be lifted.