It’s a full house, as we cram into the TARDIS-like confines of The Warren’s Studio 2. Returning after last year’s award-nominated WINDOW showcase, The Human Zoo now present their compassionate and oddball The Girl Who Fell in Love With The Moon at Brighton Fringe. The audience find themselves sat amongst the stars, gazing down upon five storytellers as they contemplate a night lost in the woods.
What we witness is a tumble through whimsical tales of astrophilia, obsession, love and loss. With a mix of live music, physical comedy, puppetry and clever wordplay, miniature realities are created before us, using only the most basic of props and an abundance of imagination. It’s certainly a masterclass in the wondrous versatility of the humble suitcase. This can unquestionably serve as either a car, rooftop or bench, such is the strength of the worlds they build before us.
The performers, Florence O’Mahony, Fleur Rooth, Rosalind Hoy, Hedley Roach and Nick Gilbert work well together, sliding from syncopated mayhem into mesmerising set pieces with ease.Despite a furious rotation through characters, clever use of wardrobe ensures each retains a distinctiveness amid the whirlwind. The Girl Who Fell in Love With The Moon is a humorous and touching show. Alongside it’s invigorating collection of vignettes, there’s a bigger story to be told behind this interrupted journey. Each player has drifted into this non-nuclear family, offering tantalising glimpses of their paths to this point. There’s the implication each of these twisted tales have some basis in experience. On reflection, some of the subject matter is quite dark, but these are unveiled with such deftness of touch you allow yourself to be swept along.
There are flickering moments of real sadness, but these are tempered by the show’s irrepressible good-nature and inventiveness. If anything, you’ll be surprised how much emotional impact can be wrung from a simple set of fairy lights. If even half its audience are compelled to gaze up at the night sky and wonder as they amble home, then this delicious slab of humanity has done its work.
The Girl Who Fell In Love With The Moon is at The Warren until Sun 14 May, as part of Brighton Fringe 2017
Image by Emily Waterhouse