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The Search for a Black-Browed Albatross

“Moving show about love and loss”
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Shows don’t come much sweeter than this. The Backpack Ensemble – an emerging company hailing from the University of Lincoln – heaves its debut show The Search for a Black-Browed Albatross up to Edinburgh, having already made acclaimed visits to the National Student Drama Festival and Incoming Festival this year.

Samantha Miles’ play follows Charlie on a trip north into the middle of nowhere in search of a rare bird – the only bird that her enthusiastic twitcher dad didn’t tick off his “life list” before he died. She loses herself in a forest, almost drowns in a river, meets a wise woodsman and ultimately faces up to her own grief. It’s a tale as telegraphed as it is touching.

The real joy here, though, is in the exuberant, meta-theatrical invention of Simon Panayi’s production. The seven cast members pass the narration between them as they use bedsheets, projectors and silhouettes to evoke a world filled with wonder and wistful memory. Every so often, they break into nicely harmonised song to the backing of Jordan Shiel’s plaintive piano-playing.

It’s a gentle, tear-jerker of a show about life and loss, holding on and letting go. A really promising show, from a really promising company. Look out for it.


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Production Details
Production nameThe Search for a Black-Browed Albatross
VenuePleasance Dome
LocationEdinburgh
StartsAugust 1, 2018
EndsAugust 9, 2018
Running time55mins
AuthorSamantha Miles
DirectorSimon Panayi
Musical directorJordan Shiel
CastElliot Sargent, James Ashfield, Jordan Shiel, Laura Potente, Samantha Miles, Simon Panayi
ProducerJames Ashfield, The Backpack
VerdictMoving, inventive show about love, loss and letting go from a promising young company
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Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

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