The West Australian Review: Nobody Owns the Moon (4.5 stars)

4.5 Stars

Nobody Owns the Moon is about finding slivers of light and hope and sharing them with loved ones. Or maybe your children will just see a fox and a donkey being good friends. And that’s reason enough to see it these holidays.

Based on the book by Tohby Riddle, it takes place in a city with no name. Layers of life are shown with hand puppets, masks, music and mime.

Bear, the only marionette, is a street performer who dances for a buck. The audience giggles as he shuffles and shimmies, reminding why stringed puppets have been beloved for millennia.

Yvan Karlsson is Bear’s sidekick, a busker and our tour guide. His narration is accompanied by composer Lee Buddle’s rhythm and sound scape that are the city’s heartbeat.

Mostly this is a story about Clive the fox (Jessica Lewis) and Humphrey the donkey (Shirley van Sanden). Clive works in a factory and Humphrey scrapes together an existence.

When Humphrey finds a blue envelope they seize their chance to live the high life, if just for a moment.

The energy shifts up a gear as Clive and Humphrey see a play called Nobody Owns the Moon. They watch a puppet show featuring a fighting fox and donkey, both wanting to own the world Then, along comes a rich and grasping Crocodile (Geoff Kelso), who wants to buy the moon. And everyone knows Nobody Owns the Moon.

Through the power of a puppet show (do you see what Spare Parts did there) Clive and Humphrey see that the moon belongs to everyone. So does the city, no matter how high or low you are, rich or poor.

This was the last show Spare Parts guiding light Noriko Nishimoto worked on before her death in May. Nishimoto’s enthusiasm and artistic talent continue to shine in this production co-created with director Michael Barlow.

Review by Melanie Coram The West Australian.