Home » Reviews » Edinburgh Festival » Lula del Ray by Manual Cinema, Underbelly Med Quad – Review
Credit: Jerry Shulman
Credit: Jerry Shulman

Lula del Ray by Manual Cinema, Underbelly Med Quad – Review

Pros: Mesmerising and unprecedented.

Cons: Watching the puppeteers work in the foreground is fascinating but can also divert the attention from the main screen above their heads.

Pros: Mesmerising and unprecedented. Cons: Watching the puppeteers work in the foreground is fascinating but can also divert the attention from the main screen above their heads. Living in a caravan stationed in the middle of the desert, by a vast satellite field, Lula Del Ray lives a solitary life. Her favourite pastime is to sit on the edge of a satellite dish and look at the moon. Swinging her feet in the empty space below, she wonders about the men who walked on its surface and dreams of building a rocket with which, one day, she'll also reach the moon.…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

Imaginative shadow puppetry meets nostalgic live music in the naïve coming-of-age of Lula del Ray.

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Living in a caravan stationed in the middle of the desert, by a vast satellite field, Lula Del Ray lives a solitary life. Her favourite pastime is to sit on the edge of a satellite dish and look at the moon. Swinging her feet in the empty space below, she wonders about the men who walked on its surface and dreams of building a rocket with which, one day, she’ll also reach the moon.

A sudden infatuation for the Baden Brothers radio stars and their single Lord, Blow the Moon Out, convinces Lula to leave her unsympathetic single mother and take a bus to the city, where the duo is having an exclusive one-night concert. With very little money in her pocket and lots of innocence in her heart, Lula is about to discover the truth about her idols. A strong female figure, despite her young age, she’s a true heroine whose determination takes her wherever she can dream of.

With the help of three overheads, transparency film and handmade cut-out puppets – sometimes even smaller than a coin – Manual Cinema recreates on screen a whole stylised world, full of 50s flavoured melancholy. Nostalgic live music and an ingenious combination of shadow puppetry, projections and human performers merge into the ultimate feel-good cuteness for an unprecedented production.

The four-strong crew is always visible on stage, allowing a fascinating insight into their mesmerising creations. But, whilst this demonstrates the hard work that normally goes behind the scenes, it could also divert the attention of the audience from the finished product projected overhead.

After a sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Ada/Ava, the performance collective from Chicago returns to this year’s festival with another sold-out event, celebrating with its unique world of silhouettes the simplicity and the beauty of the big screen.

Conceived By: Julia Miller
Original Text By: Brendan Hill
Designed and Directed By: Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Original Sound Design By: Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman
Original Score By: Kyle Vegter, Ben Kauffman, Maren Celest, Michael Hilger and Jacob Winchester
Produced By: Underbelly and Manual Cinema
Box Office: 03333 444167
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/lula-del-ray-by-manual-cinema
Booking Until: 28 August 2017

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.