This year marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landings so One Giant Leap is a well chosen subject matter for a new musical. Which side are you on? Fact or faked?
It’s probably the biggest conspiracy of the 20th century with the Americans battling the Soviets in a space race. This production takes you on a journey behind the scenes where a man tells the ‘real’ story through a series of flash backs.
Jumping to 1968, the head of NASA hires Douglas Hitchings, a man with some experience in the film industry, to record the legendary mission. But instead of the lunar surface they have the golden Nevada desert as a backdrop. But with Russian spies in the mix, thing get a little more complicated than expected.
Stellar story and sound
The meta aspect of this show is very entertaining as the characters regularly reference that they are in a musical. The scene involving dedication to timeline and historical accuracy is hilarious. Writers, Adam Walker-Kavanagh and Tom Fallis clearly have a mind for comedy. They have an ear for music too. From jazz numbers to a country knees up and catchy final number, the songs have range, narrative and heaps of energy.
Initiate crew upgrade
Joe Kent-Walters as the NASA Director might have fallen short in the vocal department but boy does he understand comic acting and timing. Caitlin Doyle and Lydia Dixon stand out with excellent performances as the foolish soviet agents. However, Tom Panay and Lydia Duval are lacklustre. As lead characters, they needed more oomph and exaggeration. There’s passion from all the cast but this mission requires more experience.
Yes, this show is a little rough around the edges, and the performances are fairly amateur, but the concept and sound are captivating. New musicals are difficult to produce but I think this one might have just pulled it off.
One Giant Leap is an interesting musical with some great moments. It’s not an astronomical success but with bigger performances, it could be something special.