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Multi-Sensory Stimulator Flight is Coming to Lakeside Arts

13 February 20 words: Eve Smallman
illustrations: Ali Taylor-Perry

Heading to the Festival of Science and Curiosity? Make sure you check out Flight. It invites audiences to step inside a 40ft shipping container – with an interior exactly resembling a plane – and take a 30-minute short-haul flight in absolute darkness. Artistic Director Glen Neath tells us why it’s out of this world… 

Describe Flight...
The idea came after making our first show, Seance, and then wondering which other environments would be interesting to work with. We decided on a plane, so we sourced parts from old, knackered aircrafts and fashioned a narrative around that. We have 3D sound, blurring the idea of what is real and what isn't real. The show is about being on a plane but also in an alternative space which was running alongside it. That is what inspired the quantum multiverse concept we came up with. 

The quantum multiverse…?
It's basically the idea that there’s more than one possible thing that can happen; that there's all these different worlds running parallel to each other. It's like the idea of playing Russian roulette and you surviving, and that world you survive in is the one you are conscious of. When you come out of the show, you're the conscious version of you that survived. 

How did you come up with the concept?
Originally we did a few long shows using the same darkness and sound. But the problem was that theatres were all different shapes and sizes, so the sound was vastly different than the one it was recorded in. We decided to make shows we could control, so we had the idea of doing them in shipping containers, which would mean we could tour them. 

How did you make it an immersive experience? 
We wanted to play with the ideas of fear, anxiety and people finding things unnerving, with short intense shows that draw on these things. Being completely in the dark puts you in a very unusual place, as you can't even see your hands. Because you can't see anything you're then very much aware of your sense of hearing. From this, everyone has a very individual experience, because they can hear other members of the audience having their own experience too. 

What has the reaction been like to it so far?
On the whole, the response has been very good. Quite a lot of people have seen the set then walked straight out again! But although it deals with a stricken plane, it does end with a message of hope, and that has been pointed out a few times too. In March, at King’s Cross, we are planning on having all three shows on as a collection, that people can spend the evening going to. Having Flight on in Nottingham is good as people will be able to see it individually, but we are quite excited about having them on together. 

You can experience Flight at Lakeside Arts between Saturday 15 - Sunday 23 February.

Darkfield website

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