Woke up in a shithole.
Met King Kong.
“I need a hammer.”
These aren’t the opening lines of a postmodern epic scrawled by yet another wannabe Allen Ginsberg who thinks Prague is the capital of literary hipsterville, but the notes I made while watching “An Average Day for Johnny Moon”.
They will make some sense if I explain the concept behind the show. Johnny Moon’s life is in fact anything but ordinary: every day he wakes up in a new location with a new occupation, knowing that he’s certain to bump into someone unusual. It’s up to the audience to come up with a job, setting, remarkable person, and the final words he will utter before hitting the sack. The actors, stage managed by Johnny’s biographer, then use these four elements to improvise a theatrical extravaganza packed with side-splittingly hilarious high-jinx.
Or at least that’s the idea.
The action kicks off with King Damien Kong, who starts out as Johnny Moon’s best mate and has to be rescued from the top of—yep, you guessed it—the Empire State Building. At some point, Damien Kong appears to swap genders and becomes Johnny Moon’s main love interest. This speedy sex change causes all kinds of problems for Johnny, not because he’s averse to bestiality but since he’s been recently flirting with a parakeet called Doreen. He’s even been fondling her wing in public.
What little plot there is revolves around this bizarre cross-species love triangle—and the antics of a pair of horny security guards. There are also comedy shenanigans with chest wigs, beach balls, and a lonely receptionist who is obsessed with vases.
I don’t want to be the kind of theatre critic who takes pleasure in turning snarky when something doesn’t tickle their own personal funny bone. The lead actor does have real stage presence behind his old-school spectacles. The audience weren’t very responsive when asked to contribute ideas. It was the opening night. However, while I understand that the Fringe is meant to be the home of all that’s madcap and experimental, too much of the cast’s efforts at clowning around fell flat and failed to hold my attention.
Perhaps Johnny Moon was just having a bad day…
An Average Day for Johnny Moon
Performance dates and showtimes: 24–26.5 22:30–23:30; 27–28.5 18:00–19:00
Location: Divadlo Na Prádle, Besední 3
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased from the venue or online via Ticketstream