“Do you not think I’m funny anymore?”

The line, delivered by Wong Man Shun in the ‘KFC Lover’ monologue, encapsulates much of the finely tuned neuroticism of Nocturne Productions’ This Is How We Walk On The Moon, directed by Max Morgan and showing at the Pilch from 14-18 November 2023. 

Morgan’s new play, formed of seven interlacing monologues by seven student writers, is deliciously weird. Each of the pieces, which Morgan tells me were workshopped together over the vac, is linked by concepts of imagination and the flight of fancy. One monologue, Lily Sheldon’s ‘Hairdresser Dave’, shows Cosimo Asvisio as a hairdresser who develops an obsession with a client; another, Coco Cottam’s ‘Jealous Bitch’, describes the intensity and protectiveness of homoerotic female friendship.

The audience stands throughout the show, the actors positioned among them on stools or moving throughout the crowd, taking on parts in each other’s monologues when needed. Morgan brings to each monologue a necessary dynamism with careful blocking, ensuring that at no point does the audience feel the monologues have become static or solipsistic. These pieces are constantly moving, and constantly in conversation with each other.

With almost any other actors, this play wouldn’t work half as well as it does. The brands of frenetic neuroticism they each bring to the parts are, however, well-matched. Susie Weidmann’s portrayal of a woman frequented by erotic pirate dreams is outrageously good, and well-complemented by Wong’s whacky, sexually frustrated KFC worker developing a crush on his abusive boss.

Bareham and Asvisio were particularly excellent, the former for his bumbling earnestness in the face of a first crush. (His solution for heartache? “I drink a lot of Gaviscon when I get home.”) Asvisio on the other hand provided consistent hilarity, picking out members of the crowd to be clients and delivering enthusiastic insults about the state of their hair. 

Morgan’s direction is (as expected) excellent, paired with a dreamy Arthur Russell soundtrack. With glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to the ceiling (and occasionally falling down) for whenever the lights were dimmed, and an enormous papier-mâché moon suspended above the entrance to the theatre, the nightscape is carefully curated for the audience.

The show was unconventional and well-delivered, drawing audience and actors close throughout the absurd, imaginative performance.

The Monologues:

‘Jealous Bitch’ (Coco Cottam) – performed by Hope Yoon

‘Ammonite’ (Max Morgan) – performed by Ethan Bareham

‘Eli’ (Eulalia Marie) – performed by Felix Kerrison-Adams

‘KFC Lover’ (Shaw Worth) – performed by Wong Man Shun

‘Midnight Pirate’ (Gabriel Blackwell) – performed by Susie Weidmann

‘Jodie’ (Leah Aspden) – performed by Juliette Imbert

‘Hairdresser Dave’ (Lily Sheldon) – performed by Cosimo Asvisio