FLIGHT

FLIGHT
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. Realscape Productions in association with DARKSIDE (GB). The Garden Of Unearthly Delights - Rundle Park / Kadlitpina. 15 February-17 March, 2019

FLIGHT is an all encompassing experience about what could happen when flying in a passenger plane should a disaster occur.

Full of trepidation we entered the shipping container that would take us on this journey. For some reason, never really explained, you are separated from your companion as you take your seats in a mock-up version of the interior of a commercial passenger plane. You go through the expected routine – seat belts, placing luggage in the overhead compartments, turning off mobile phones, etc. You are then told that if you suffer from claustrophobia you will be given a chance to exit, if desired or needed. Thank heaven we know. You are then told to put on the special ear phones attached to each seat, and then after a bit of testing, you take off and the nightmare begins – in complete darkness.

This is a work of ‘immersive theatre’ that involves sense deprivation. All you really have is the sense of hearing, and a physical sense of the person sitting next to you, although you can’t really see or hear anything – except for what is relayed through the headphones. It is rather unsettling, if at the same time a little underwhelming. It is a terrible admission, but I was actually expecting it to be even more horrific than it was, and yet also relieved that it wasn’t, as I am not a great fan of flying.

In a scenario that reminded me of the old TV series Lost you are told that there a multiple realities, and reminded of what it may be like to lose a love one. The philosophy behind all this is a bit pithy, but it is still an engaging and absorbing ride.

FLIGHT is the latest work from the bold and imaginative UK theatre company DARKSIDE. This is the Australian premiere of FLIGHT. It is held in conjunction with their other ‘immersive’ work, the award winning SÉANCE that was a hit at last year’s Fringe Festival and is back for a return run. I fully intend to see SÉANCE as well. This is something different and unique and both shows are a welcome part of this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival.

So if you wish to face your fears, either in regards to the spiritual world with SÉANCE or with flying with FLIGHT, then go. But be warned – they know what scares you!

Tony Knight

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