Rhum and Clay Theatre’s newest work, The Man in the Moone, follows the adventures of a man who is determined to reach the moon. Having proposed a paper that outlines the theory of the moon being habitual, the desire to explore this potential draws the man on his quest.
Using a combination of puppetry, storytelling and some laddish humour, The Man in the Moone is a light-hearted and fun piece. There’s a good mix of material that is used to tell the narrative, but when it comes down to how the work is received, I struggled to engage. Whether this was my own preconceived ideas of the company and its work, or whether the humour just didn’t gel for me I’m unsure, but as a piece of storytelling I found the story uninspiring.
The ensemble look as if they’re having a joyous time on the stage, but I wonder how much of this is actually being received by the audience. There’s some neat puppetry and some good use of the stage design (an adaptable set that creates a backdrop for the work) but there is nothing new or adventurous in the work. It is, when things are stripped back, a simple piece but one that fails to do or tell anything beyond the work.
Through conversations I’ve been having with audiences at the Fringe this year, there’s a feeling that there are lots of companies who are making work that has little impact beyond their presentation. Whilst they may be using good devising skills, they offer little to the theatrical scene. Rhum and Clay Theatre certainly feels this way to me.
Originally published on A Younger Theatre.