Created by Darkfield, an immersive theatre company founded by artistic directors Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, Flight is part of a series of productions aiming to explore fear and anxiety. After a successful run of their production Séance at last year’s Fringe, which aimed to displace audiences’ ideas of the supernatural, Flight continues the theme of removing you from the outside world leading you to be fully imbedded within the action, contained within a shipping container in complete darkness. Each individual audience member is placed at the centre of a twisted narrative that takes you on an existential journey whereby you are neither dead nor alive. This production creates an incredibly tense, stimulating experience – unlike anything you will encounter at this year’s Fringe.
You will notice the incredible production value as soon as you enter the space. It is crafted to appear as an economy cabin on a standard aeroplane, and this is authentically achieved. From the squeaky faux leather seats to the safety instructions on laminated plastic cards in the seat pockets in front of you, it feels like a real plane. Submerged into this world, you will soon begin to forget you are in a shipping container in the heart of Edinburgh.
After entering the container, putting your belongings in the overhead compartments and sitting down you will feel immediately uneased. A softly spoken airhostess will run you through the health and safety precautions through a small screen above the seats, her words distorted and sinister, before you are plunged into complete darkness for the next 20 minutes.
It is claustrophobic with invisible bodies surrounding you. You experience the darkness for about 5 minutes before being given the chance to leave. After this the performance begins. All the anxiety experienced when flying is recreated, from the baby crying in the seat behind you to the constant buzzing experienced as your ears adjust to the pressure. The soundscape is eerily naturalistic with the constant sound of breath and shuffling bodies surrounding you. After only a few minutes you are fully immersed into this world.
The quality of the soundscape played throughout the experience is incredible to witness. The way in which the sounds reflect distance and proximity is breath-taking, creating a really chilling atmosphere. You will feel at the very heart of the story as you are whispered to and interacted with by the invisible presences, leaving you unaware of any other audience members around you. The darkness is disorientating and heightens your other senses increasing your awareness of the changing temperature and subtle movements of the cabin.
Flight is a truly unimaginable piece of theatre that will remove you from the bustling Fringe environment and submerge you into their hauntingly absurd narrative- a must see for existential thrill seekers and theatre lovers alike.
Summerhall – the Terrace (Venue 26)
Until 26 August
Image: zeppytoh via Pixabay