Restaged Histories Project @ Little Theatre
8:00pm, Sat 4 Mar 2006
An adaptation of (a translation of) a Victor Pelevin novel, Omon Ra traces a young man’s journey to the dark side of the moon. Set amidst the Cold War, young Omon and his best friend Mitiok enter the Soviet Flight School with the aim of becoming Cosmonauts.
What follows is equal parts drama, subterfuge, and farce. For the most part, Omon Ra is played straight – digging at Soviet Cold War propaganda and techniques as the race to land a man on the (at that time) unseen dark side of the moon. However, there’s some wonderful perforations of humour in the production – the story of Kissinger bear hunting (although that counts as tragic, too), and the ever-so-sly Pink Floyd discussion… “Ummagumma – that’s not music, that’s shit.”
There’s a twist in the tale – not totally unexpected, but handled in a very clever manner. Jonathon Brand is exceptional in his many roles, but Anthony Standish carries the title role well.
If I had to whinge about anything, it would be that the set feels like it’s trying too hard to appear “cheap”, to cultivate that beloved Fringe feel; yes, some of this junk is cleverly used, but other ties it just feels like it doesn’t have to be that trashy. But on all other levels, Omon Ra is a clever, thoughtful piece of theatre, and marks the Restaged Histories Project as a company to look out for in the future.