The Yard Theatre, London – until 10 November 2018
Guest reviewer: Emily Schofield
Bizarre and unnerving: Moot Moot must be seen to be believed.
As the house lights dimmed in the Yard Theatre, little could have prepared me for the unusual and almost creepy experience that awaited me.
Moot Moot revolves around two doppelgänger radio show hosts, Barry and Barry, who find themselves in a difficult position when no one calls into their chat show. However, the way in which this story is communicated is incredibly abstract and strange. Very little is given to the audience in terms of exposition or storyline. Instead, the remnants of a plot are delivered through musical interludes, sound effects and a continuous back and forth conversation between the two hosts that is quite draining due to its repetitiveness.
At first, I was anxiously awaiting the characters to break the entrapment of the rhythm and schedule of tunes and sounds. It took me quite a while before I realised that this, in its entirety, was the full supposed plot of the show.
This show resembles the type of theatre that is difficult to fully explain, you are entertained throughout but never entirely sure why. The humour, whilst rather funny at times, relies on a lot of physical gags and I sometimes found myself laughing more out of confusion and bewilderment than anything else.
It should be noted that the two hosts (Rosanna Cade and Ivor MacAskill), held the performance together very well. Their chemistry and faultless timing made the strange experience consistent and engaging enough for the audience to not go completely crazy.
I think there were certainly points where particular jokes went on for too long. The opening, for instance, seemed to continue for ages and felt very dragged out. I was on the verge of boredom by the time the performance eventually moved on! It was only when the characters eventually began presenting the show, after ten minutes of slowly staggering to their chairs, that the performance felt like it had properly begun.
This show is rather slow in its pace, and never really seems to go anywhere. As an audience, it doesn’t feel like we go on a journey. Instead, we feel stagnant and stuck in a strange black spot, void of any context or explanation. Although I suppose it could be argued that this is exactly how the two hosts are supposed to feel, so maybe this is intended to mirror that.
The lighting and sound effects are what really make this show special. The intelligent use of lighting brought life to moments which would have been very dull otherwise. Despite this, everything felt used to excess: the jokes, bright lights and sound effects – it’s a complete sensory overload.
Overall, Moot Moot is an incredibly unique experience and whilst I was confused and at times, a little disoriented, I am glad to say that I’ve witnessed such a spectacle of a performance. It really has to be seen in order to understand just how funny and ridiculous it manages to be.
By Emily Schofield
Moot Moot continues to play at The Yard Theatre until the 10th November. For more information visit: https://theyardtheatre.co.uk/theatre/events/moot-moot/