"Delightful work from unruly youngsters"
by Owen Kingston for remotegoat on 12/02/16

'The Girl Who Fell in Love with the Moon' was originally devised for an Edinburgh audience and is a perfect fit for the festival – an hour long with no interval, a beautiful yet simple set that should fit easily in the back of a decent sized car, and clever use of on-stage actor-controlled lighting that achieves some nice effects without the need for a complex technical set up.

The show itself makes some humorous Edinburgh-specific asides about playing to a non-existent audience, but has also clearly been designed with touring elsewhere in mind, making small adjustments to add a bit of local flavour to this story of a group of travelling actors struggling to get to their next show.

As these white-faced actors in their ragtag costumes meander through their collection of short stories – all in some way connected to the sky, all with a deliciously gruesome end – we are treated to a delightful blend of clowning, puppetry, physical theatre and original music in a style highly reminiscent of the work of the company 'Les Enfants Terribles', whose award this young company won in 2014 for their previous production 'The Hive'.

While it is true there is nothing 'new' being said or done in this production, one cannot fault the execution which is simply sublime. The design, direction and performances are all spot on, making for a delightful and heart-warming evening. It is a magnificent example of it's native style, and for someone experiencing this sort of theatre for the first time, it is sure to be a memorable experience for all the right reasons.

Besides – is there anything these days which can truly be said to be new? One would have to be a particularly cynical and curmudgeonly theatre boffin to be overly bothered by any perceived lack of originality in the format of this beautifully executed piece – unless one had a particular and peculiar hatred for white-faced makeup and accordions.

Beyond the style and substance of the show itself, what is particularly uplifting to experience is the warmth of the bond between the members of this young company. When so many of the current gateways into the profession seem to encourage solo-work (awards and recognition for new writers or directors as individuals), it is remarkable to see a young company so obviously devoted to each other as much as they are to the work they are producing. 'The Human Zoo' have many years ahead of them, and they are off to a flying start. If this is the calibre of work they can produce now, I eagerly anticipate the work they will be producing in a few years time. Long may they continue.

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