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Moon Horse vs the Mars Men from Jupiter

Monday, 22 August, 2011

Cartoon style adventures

Edinburgh – Buff’s Club RAOB V42– 6-20 August—17:00 (1:00)

MJ Hibbert and Steve Hewitt

Moon Horse versus the Mars men from Jupiter is a two-man brain splurge, the episodic cartoonish adventure of a purple stuffed horse head on a stick and Steve Hewitt in an aviator’s hat as Geoffrey Livingstone.  We discover the history of Moon Horse and Livingstone’s partnership—they met on the moon after Geoffrey was shot into space in a gun from a research base in Shanklin on the Isle of White.  This leads to the disturbance of US and UK relations as the UK had technically won the space race.   Now, Moon Horse, Livingstone and the depressed and un-noticed TIDDY (total intergalactic droid of death) scare away the smelly Mars men on numerous occasions and eventually save the world from privatisation and mankind from eviction from the planet Earth.

The performers have no pretensions to be anything other than what they are—amateur comedians with a lot of heart.  The tone is set immediately with Mark Hibbett’s casual ‘I’ll do the intros then shall I Steve?’  Still there are some gems in this show.  Especially noteworthy are the condemning of Maggie Thatcher to Prime minister’s heaven (her idea of hell), where all are equal and live in socialist bliss and the killer line ‘we’re a two mammal six legged fighting machine.’

While the slap-dash and intentionally pathetic costumes and guitar skills of Mark Hibbett lose their initial charm by the end, the hour is mostly joyful.  From Lyndon Baines Johnson in a pink cowboy hat, to martians in fluorescent woolly hats—you name the puerile joke, these guys will have it in their show.  We even witness the ‘literally’ diabolical acts of satan himself, who Moon Horse defies by ensuring that Birmingham New Street Station is sent to Hell for the Mephistopheles to enjoy.

Mark Hibbett is especially flexible as a performer.  His accents and his improvised one-liners give the show an energy boost.  Both he and his co-performer are very likeable, even though their show really is just tomfoolery.  Their last song sums up their artistic attitude ‘we were much to busy having fun to notice no one cared.’

The main problem with this show is it feels like a series of youtube worthy gags and songs, drawn out into an hour-long set, and by just over the halfway point things are wearing a little thin.  Thank the Lord for the distracting background noises from other rooms—these absent heckles (a woman screaming for what seems like an eternity) are dealt with excellently by both Steve and Mark, who do have a sense of comic timing and play.  For the last ten minutes however, one really wishes the duo would stop flogging a dead Moon Horse.

Cast: Steve Hewitt—Geoffrey Livingstone,  Mars Man, Lyndon Baines Jonson, Harold Wilson. Mark Hibbett—Satan, Margaret Thatcher, TIDDY, Harold Wilson, Mars Man, Professor Wilberforce.

Written, produced and directed by Steve Hewitt and Mark Hibbett

Reviewed- August 19th -Edinburgh

(c) Rebecca Gibson 2011

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