28/10/2023 - 29/10/2023
Created by Barnie Duncan & Alistair Deverick
A clown dressed as Napoleon lands on the moon and bubbles go everywhere. Intergalactic sounds fill the atmosphere… emanating from a spaceman. What on earth is going to happen on the moon?
New dads Barnie Duncan and Alistair Deverick have joined forces to make a show their kids and their kid’s pals would like. Because everyone should enjoy comedy. And live music. And the moon.
Venue: Cargo Shed
Dates: 28 – 29 October
Times: 11AM & 2PM
Prices: $10 – $15
Content – Best Suited for children under 5.
Supported by Biggles at the Mount
Moon was developed with the support of the New Zealand Comedy Trust
Children’s , Theatre ,
Two dads creating a show that their kids and their kids pals might like
Review by Vivienne Quinn 28th Oct 2023
A kids’ show can be a tricky thing.
With their show Moon, Barnie Duncan and Alistair Deverick enter into that most flimsy of arrangements with an unpredictable crowd. Kids aren’t polite the way adults are. If they lose interest, they let you know.
I can’t find out much about the performers – the only information I have is from the Tauranga Arts Festival brochure, where they state they are “new dads joining forces to create a show their kids and their kids pals would like”. I’m hoping this is an underplay and, as a lover of clown and all that is possible in this medium, I’m looking forward to this show.
The kids and their parents look interested as they enter the space. The Cargo Shed, by the Tauranga waterfront, is lit up with eerie blue lighting, with intriguing musical instruments set up on stage and, most promisingly, a large inflatable moon sitting enticingly above the audience.
The moment of anticipation is slightly anticlimactic when one actor (the musician) enters and doesn’t engage with the audience, and then the star of the show enters, somewhat low in energy. (I assume this Napoleon clown character is played by Barnie Duncan, but as no show program is provided, it’s just a guess.)
He soon warms the audience up as he turns to acknowledge them, and he begins a journey which includes some lovely moments of clown and humour, as he seeks help finding the moon. Some of the best moments in this show are when the young audience get more and more frustrated with Napoleon’s failure to see the enormous moon that they keep pointing out. There are also sporadic fart gags, which always go down well, and lively music that often creates a fun engaging atmosphere, but sometimes doesn’t.
There are some clever clown gags and some others that fall a bit flat, plus some audience participation in which I feel a bit concerned for the slightly unwilling adult, as I’m not sure Napoleon has his complete trust. The actor playing Napoleon keeps giving it his all. He manages to pull a few of the mischievous young audience members back onto his side when their attention starts to wander and everyone is happy when the huge shining moon finally joins the party.
I’m a firm believer that kids’ shows offered up as part of an arts festival should be just as good as the other shows in the festival – that kids deserve to see world-class just much as other festival attendees. The Tauranga Arts Festival has included some amazing children’s shows in previous festivals.
Is Moon world class? No. Does it keep the audience engaged and invested? Mostly. It’s not bad – it’s quite fun: two dads creating a show that their kids and their kids pals might like.
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