Two must-see theatre shows this week at Galway International Arts Festival
Flight witnesses an epic struggle staged in miniature, while an immersive performance invites us to share the scorched earth of Patrick White’s Australia
Brink Prodcutions of The Aspirations of Daise Morrow is at Black Box Theatre, from July 23rd to 28th
O’Donoghue Theatre, NUI Galway. Jul 19-29 various times €20-€25 giaf.ie
In Flight, which debuted last year at the Edinburgh International Festival, you watch the epic journey of two child refugees unfurl in miniature. That’s because the Glasgow company Vox Motus depicts the story using intricate models and figurines, letting the story revolve in carefully constructed cycloramas for audience members who sit in individual viewing booths – alone together. Adapted from the novel Hinterland, by Australian journalist Caroline Brothers, about Afghan orphan brothers Aryan and Kabir who flee Kabul in the hope of reaching London, the company stages their perilous journey across flooded rivers that separate Turkey from Greece, on board trucks making uncertain deliveries into the hands of benign or evil men, and onward to Paris and the crowded camps of Calais. Adapted by Oliver Emanuel, the text is delivered via headphones, which could make for a potentially detached and isolating experience. That however, is only a sliver of the experience of a refugee, and the poignancy of watching the journey staged by figurines as big as children’s toys increases the discrepancy. This flight is not a game.
The Aspirations of Daise Morrow
Black Box Theatre, Galway. Jul 27-28 7pm (Wed & Sat mat, 2pm) €22-€29.50 giaf.ie
The Whalley family are getting ready for a day at the dump, while their neighbours next door, the Hogbens, prepare to bury Daise Morrow, an outrageous character and free spirit who scandalised her tiny Australian town over a youth marked by romantic adventure. That’s the premise of Down at the Dump, one novel by Australia’s Nobel laureate Patrick White, now adapted for the stage by Brink Productions.
In director Chris Drummond’s well-received show, the audience sit ina circle with the actors and musicians on a patch of burnt earth beneaht a canvas illustration of the Australian sky, intended to evoke the expansive sensory vision of White’s Australia, where scathing insight and scabrous wit matches human nature and the redeeming power of love.