The Half Moon Shania review at Zoo Southside, Edinburgh – ‘infectiously exuberant gig-theatre show’
Burnt Lemon Theatre – freshly minted as a New Diorama Graduate Emerging Company for 2018-19 – is well worth watching, judging by this debut production. Cara Baldwin and Hannah Benson, both graduates of East 15 Acting School, have crafted a raucous, rowdy 45 minutes of gig-theatre that’s enormous fun.
It’s 1999. The new millennium approaches. Baldwin, Catherine Davies and Laura Green make up The G Stringz, a punk-rock girl band playing one last gig in search of fame and fortune. They’re at the The Half Moon, a grungy drinking dive, and apparently there’s a record company rep in the audience.
Baldwin’s script is great, brimming with punchy poetry – explicit content alert – as it ducks and dives through the narrative of the night, hopping back in time to recount how the girls formed at a hilariously anarchic high-school concert.
There are jokes galore, but there’s also something else going on – a slightly nostalgic glance at the late nineties, a hymn to feminist solidarity and, at the surprisingly sobering conclusion, a warning flag about men in positions of power in the music business.
Benson’s joyous production is ultimately all about the anarchic energy of Baldwin, Davies and Green, though, and their exuberance is infectious.