One Giant Leap

Ross McGregor
Arrows & Traps Theatre Company
Jack Studio Theatre

Will Pinchin Credit: Davor Tovarlaza @ The Ocular Creative
Christopher Tester, Steven Jeram and Will Pinchin holding up Daniel Ghezzi Credit: Davor Tovarlaza @ The Ocular Creative
Lucy Ioannou and Vivian Belosky Credit: Davor Tovarlaza @ The Ocular Creative

At the risk of showing my age, I remember staying up until all hours in front of our black and white television, waiting to watch a man walk on the moon. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind, and all that.

A child at the time, I didn’t understand the profound significance of it until many years later, and now seeing such things once held in great reverence made mockery of is good fun, so of course I was going to see Arrows and Traps’ new comedy, One Giant Leap.

Set in 1969 Los Angeles, Edward Price's television studio is in trouble. His ex-wife, studio manager and fixer-of-all-things is about to walk out with the leading man, but perhaps that doesn’t matter since the network has cancelled the second season of their sci-fi drama, the budget love child of Crossroads and Star Trek.

With only the show's finale to film before the studio closes, rescue comes in the form of a CIA agent who offers Edward $2 million to fake the moon landing—in just five days. What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, unlike the capsule that crash lands into the ocean returning the astronauts to earth, Ross McGregor's new comedy comes down without having really lifted off.

Overlong by a good 30 minutes, it is populated by stereotypes, with too many words for a farce and not enough funniness for a comedy, which is not to say that I didn’t laugh at all. I just didn’t laugh much.

There are moments of slapstick joy, some witty repartee, Will Pinchin's performance as the inept, nerdy Howard is engaging and I liked a lot of Alex Stevens's portrayal of CIA Agent Harris, who pretends to be the television network boss.

I also enjoyed the peak of madness when, with nothing left to lose, Edward lets alien-playing song and dance man Perry (Daniel Ghezzi armed with some strong musical comedy skills) devise the show’s finale.

Bring on a totally bonkers routine to Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, Major Tom with jazz hands if you will, which as entertainment goes is pretty hard to resist.

It would have made for a timely ending but McGregor has loose ends to tie up and a good punchline up his sleeve he doesn’t want to waste.

Perhaps he should have taken two smaller steps and written a farce and a comedy, instead of taking one giant leap.

Reviewer: Sandra Giorgetti

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