2019 Fringe Festival Review: FLIGHT

What: FLIGHT

Who: Realscape Productions in association with DARKFIELD

Where: The Garden of Unearthly Delights

When: 15th February – 15th March

Cost: $25

My boarding pass says Seat 10D. I pop my belongings in the overhead compartment and take my place. The flight is about to take off and who knows where it and I will land.

The sister to SÉANCE, FLIGHT is the latest from Realscape Productions in association with DARKFIELD. Advertised as theatre and ‘sound art’ FLIGHT is a 20-minute experience which transforms a 40ft shipping container into a plane within seconds of entering.

We board, take our allocated seats and put on the headphones. A flight attendant takes us through the usual warnings before take-off. But something is off, something doesn’t feel quite right. Do you know where your emergency exit is? Too late, the lights are off.

The strength of FLIGHT is in the details. You rely on your headphones to guide your experience. And I really mean rely, you will listen out for absolutely anything that will help you make sense of the darkness. The surround sound is effective at pushing the boundaries of movement within such a small container. What is that passenger behind you doing? Is that the drink cart? You start to question if you are really in a shipping container after all – surely headphones can’t mimic the sound and feel of take-off that well.

When you stop and think about it, the reality of flying is that it is simply insane. You are 35,000 ft in the air in a box that holds itself up. What if something wrong did happen? FLIGHT explores this concept with more depth than I was expecting. The familiar sounds of flying become distorted with the unfamiliar. Your perception of reality or alternative reality is questioned. I was worried that I would leave with a fear of flying. Instead I left entertained and mildly unsettled.

As an additional production to SÉANCE, FLIGHT holds its own. It presents a unique soundscape for the visitors mind to play in. It does not take much for reality to be left on the runway. It was an enjoyable experience – who knew sitting in the dark with some headphones on could be so much fun. Where it falls short is upon leaving, where you can’t help but feel the experience could have been pushed further. How much further is up for debate between you and your friends.

3.5/5 stars

– Claudia von der Borch

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