Sometimes planning can go completely out of the window. Sometimes you can randomly walk into something and be completely unprepared for what might lie ahead. And sometimes, this includes an older man in white face paint playing an accordion on a stairlift (and this isn’t even part of the show – it’s a pre-performance treat as you wind your way up the stairs to the venue). Mr Moon from Moon Cabaret is one of those shows that benefits from you clearing your mind of any premeditated ideas of what it will be like, embracing the spontaneity of discovering something new. It is very strange, and doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but the Fringe harbours eccentric musical talent like this better than anywhere else on Earth, a truth that Mr Moon embraces with great guns.
While describing itself as theatre, Mr Moon is better approached as a musical experiment with theatrical elements. All of the performers bring unique, enchanting and at times bewildering energies to the stage with their respective acts, with a tragic-looking clown figure going down as a crowd favourite. The hostess for the night, greeting people alluringly as they step across the threshold to what Mr Moon has to offer, has a malevolent energy lurking beneath her wicked grin and pantomime. The drummer looks delightfully done with life, and Mr Moon himself brings an extravagance to proceedings that works a charm. If anything, for a show bearing his name, he doesn’t quite get enough of the limelight.
The show needs a brief period at the start to settle into itself, but once it does Mr Moon makes for a bewitching, hypnotic experience. You might not necessarily understand it, but you will undoubtedly appreciate it. The impressive blends of different instruments – from brass to percussion and even a saw – come together for music that is at times rampant and loud, melancholy and alluring at others, often accompanied by the lead singer’s haunting vocals. It feels like something very special to be a part of, and something you may well never see again.
Mystery, face paint, puppetry and music come together for an exceptional avant-garde musical performance. Mr Moon embraces a variety of artforms that bring out the best in its eclectic, eccentric group of artists. It is a very high standard of odd.