Moonshine’s Entirely Necessary Adventure
Moonshine’s Entirely Necessary Adventure by resident ensemble, Magic Maverick was an intriguing and lighthearted play for young people that made me yearn for my youth and recognize important lessons that were cleverly disguised in humour and song. At first glance, the staging seemed bare but in a way that enticed the viewer, you immediately wanted to know more, what the astrological signs on the floor meant, where the big portal in the middle of the stage might take you. The younger audience that surrounded me were as excited as me to discover these answers. The use of shadow puppetry immediately made the audience feel as it they were part of an otherworldly story. The words “once upon a time” flickered on the seeming magical portal in front of us and we were absorbed into this adventure. As Moonshine burst onto the stage, the energy and enthusiasm with which she owned the performance space was infectious.
From that moment, the physicality and animation of each of the performers was apparent as they worked as an ensemble to tell you a story and to deliver an important but simple message, “Be Yourself”. This young brave girl never felt that she had to conform to the stereotypes that our society is still putting on young girls and women today. The multi disciplined performers, switched roles with ease, from wolves to pirates and mermaids to CEO’s – and even though each character was complex and had positive elements to them as well as negative, you were never confused, due to the way they truly worked together as an ensemble throughout. Together they demonstrated that believing in yourself and following your path isn’t easy, that you’ll face obstacles, that it will be hard and people will judge you for it, and that you may at times want to give up, but that, ultimately your success will be worth it. This message was demonstrated, not through lecturing or patronizing its audience, as some youth theatre does, but through clowning and song, through audience participation and humour, to the point where I didn’t even realize at the time, that I was learning this important message. Along the way, we learned about the perils of social media and staying safe in a virtual age, through puns and irony, and laughing continually. Jo(e) the gender fluid magpie was a stroke of genius that taught us not to judge others and not to let stereotypes enforced on us dictate who people are meant to be. Furthermore, the glamorous mermaids with a penchant for disco showed that you could be silly and fun loving but still be a pioneer of business (their business was in fact worth 14 million squids).
I left the theatre that afternoon with a renewed sense of self worth, perpetuated even more, by seeing the happy young faces around me believe that they could be whomever they wanted to be, stereotypes be damned.
This production has now closed, for future productions follow @magicmaverick1
Review (c) Natasha Elliot 2017 for LGBTQ Arts