Flight review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘memorable and unsettling sensory adventure’
Buckle up. Flight is a 20-minute experience that takes place almost entirely in darkness and plays on a fear that most of us will have felt at some point in our lives: that when you’re flying at 35,000ft in a metal cylinder, something might go catastrophically wrong – that your next flight might be your last flight.
Taking place in a shipping container that has been designed to resemble the inside of an aeroplane, with seats in banks of three and headphones for each passenger, Flight is the work of Darkfield, the creative team behind last year’s Seance. Like that piece, it’s designed to unsettle and disconcert. After boarding, binaural recordings are used to destabilise the audience – and then the lights go out.
Creators David Rosenberg and Glen Neath are not going for outright terror. The piece is more psychologically disruptive, drawing out the uncanny aspects of being stuck in a flying tube, above and beyond the world. They posit the idea of alternative realities and the idea that we’re in a sort of Schrodinger’s shipping container. The familiar – the shape of the seats, the chorus of crying babies, the soothing tones of the pilot – oozes into the unfamiliar. Voices whisper in your ears. The headphones make it feel oddly intimate, as if they are speaking to you and only you.
Flight is less spooky than Seance, but its playful relationship with the ‘real’ makes for a memorable sensory adventure.