Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Also see Susan's reviews of The Prom and Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
The British theater company Vox Motus created Flight after its leaders, Jamie Harrison and Candice Edmunds, read the novel "Hinterland" by Caroline Brothers, which follows orphaned brothers Aryan and Kabir (fictional characters drawn from Brothers' interviews of refugees) as representatives of an invisible tide of unaccompanied children. The storytelling mechanism is just as singular: Only 25 audience members are admitted to each performance, which they experience in individual booths as scenes in a revolving, handcrafted diorama. The sound component comes from headphones. (Interestingly, while the directors created the piece before COVID-19, it fits in with social distancing for audiences.)
The dioramas, like three-dimensional scenes in a graphic novel, change perspective and size as the boys make their way across Asia and through Europe. Their travels are unpredictable, often frightening and sometimes violent, but Aryan and Kabir rely on each other as the days and months pass. They work as fruit pickers to earn travel money, shelter in bare rooms and travel however they can, and become part of the invisible mob in congested cities. Flight serves as a symbol throughout, both inspirational (the boys keep moving forward) and traumatic (they hallucinate French police officers as quacking ducks in uniforms).
Because the Flight experience is approximately 70 minutes in length, 45 minutes of which are seated in the booths, Studio is offering multiple show times daily.
Flight runs through March 6, 2022, in Stage 4 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW, Washington DC. For tickets and information, please call 202-332-3300 or visit www.studiotheatre.org.
By Vox Motus