Burnt Lemon Theatre’s The Half Moon Shania is a riotous piece of gig theatre at the VAULT Festival
“Let’s go girls”
It’s 1999 and punk band The G-Stringz aren’t just out to party, rumour has it there’s a rep from Diamond Records in the audience and maybe, just maybe this is their big break. Burnt Lemon Theatre’s The Half Moon Shania, written by Cara Baldwin, weaves together past and present as tales of the band’s formation mix in with what impact it has had on their lives so far, all soundtracked by a raucous gig.
An ambitious work, it taps into the festival spirit well – the show did well in Edinburgh last year – as the band constantly spills off the stage to smash the fourth wall, even trying to encourage a mosh pit at one point. And Hannah Benson’s astute direction teases out just the right energy from Baldwin and her castmates Freya Parks and Catherine Davies.
They play out the tangled relationship of friends-turned-bandmates most effectively, their differing priorities revealing themselves in different ways and inevitably playing out with disastrous consequences. The late shift into something considerably darker is a bold move and whilst convention may dictate it should be given longer, there’s something appropriately ugly and messy about its abruptness. I’m confident that this won’t be the last we hear of Burnt Lemon.