As the world celebrates fifty years since man first set foot on the moon, it feels like the ideal time for a moon landing musical, or in the case of Chevron Theatre’s One Giant Leap, a comedy musical about the faking of the moon landings. With conspiracy theories abound this young company lifts the lid on humankind’s greatest achievement in a wonderfully fun and astute parody.
We begin in the present day with a man named John Doe speaking to a reporter, claiming to have evidence that the moon landings were faked, and were actually filmed in the Nevada desert. The remainder of the musical is his story, taking us right back to April 12th 1961.
With the Russians looking likely to beat the Americans in the space race, the head of NASA hires Douglas Hitchings to convince the world that the USA got to the lunar surface first. Throw in a pair Russian spies, some musical theatre actors and an underappreciated secretary, and this musical ends up telling us a story none of us expected to hear.
One Giant Leap is emerging theatre at its finest, yes it might be a little rough around the edges but my goodness it’s bursting with passion. It’s a very cleverly written piece that as well as making you laugh out loud, also keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder what can possibly happen next.
Writers, Adam Walker-Kavanagh and Tom Fallis have employed a kind of comedy that endears the production to the audience, some 4th wall breaks give us some context to how a fifty-minute comedy musical has been kept historically accurate (as far as is possible in the circumstances). The score is actually fantastic, bursting with the kind of tunes that could have been lifted straight from the West End, I’m still humming the final number and would quite happily buy a cast album.
The ensemble cast are marvelous, I was amazed by every single performance. Joe Kent-Walters is a frenetic and funny whirlwind, while Lydia Duval amazed us all with a superb solo number. Caitlin Doyle and Lydia Dixon as the Russian Spies are hilarious while delivering flawless vocals. As Douglas Hitchings, Tom Panay gives a wonderfully charming performance.
There are the odd moments which could be tightened up, or given a bit more polish, but overall One Giant Leap is a fantastic piece of musical theatre which has been superbly written. Seeing that passionate cast on stage was pure joy, and we can only hope that coming to the fringe is just one small step in the right direction for this very talented company.
Main Image Credit: Chevron Theatre