‘Flight’ will send delicious shivers down the entire length of your spine

Flight | The Pleasure Garden | Until 13th Feb | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

“If you are flying with us today, you will need to wear a mask”. The attendant hands around disposable masks and dispenses sanitiser to a group of alert and slightly alarmed folks who have gathered to await their boarding instructions.

We are led in and asked to take our seats. Glancing around the cabin you instantly forget that you just walked into a shipping container and are transported to the world of flying. Every last detail is authentic right down to the emergency card in your seat pocket. So authentic in fact, that I instinctively reach up to turn my air vent on, just as I do on any flight.

As we are instructed to put headphones on the screen in front activates and we are greeted by a flight attendant who lulls us to settle in by going through a script most of us could recite by heart.

“Light refreshments will be served including hot and cold beverages. On this flight, the emergency exits are here, here and here. Please make sure your seatbelt is firmly fastened and your luggage is stowed in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you……the cabin lighting will now be dimmed for take-off………”

Total darkness.

As the sounds and motion increase, I start to feel like I am actually about to take off on a plane. The familiar sounds of the captain speaking, that bing-bong noise the intercom makes, passengers talking and shuffling around, wait was that a cat?

What happens over the next 20 minutes cannot be described without spoiling the experience, but let me just say that:

– I may have screamed incredibly loud on more than one occasion.

– If you bet me a million dollars, I would have SWORN people were walking down the aisle past me.

– At one point when lightening flashed outside the windows and illuminated the cabin I briefly thought- Why are we on a flight? Where are we going again?

Flight is so much more than a crash simulation. Although our recent binge watching of Yellowjackets (which BTW if you aren’t watching this show then are you really even living?) certainly helped my wheels of imagination turn during this experience. Flight is a well-timed exploration of a world of infinite realities and possibilities which felt like it was tailor made for this particular time in history.

The magic of a Darkfield/Realscape experience is their use of 360-degree binaural soundscape to make you question where you are, who or what is next to you and to whisper in your ear in a way that will send delicious shivers down the entire length of your spine.

When discussing Flight afterwards and in particular one part that was building to an uncomfortably intense crescendo my wife said to me “If it did get too much, I had planned that I could just take my headphones off, cos then really, I’m just sitting in the dark in a shipping container being moved around a bit”. But she didn’t ruin the magic and take her headphones off and amazingly came out of the experience relatively unscathed and definitely entertained.

Which is a fringe miracle (Fringacle?) really for someone who is so petrified of flying that on more than one occasion she has had a flight attendant sit next to her and feed her bottles of wine prior to take off. Despite her fear, she watches Air Crash Investigation on the regular AND wanted to come to Flight with me- which she was glad she did.

If you don’t like the dark or exploring the dark corners of your mind then Flight isn’t for you. But if you want a thrilling, thought provoking, mind-bending journey in the skies then get yourself a boarding pass immediately.

Please ensure your seats are upright, your tray table is stowed and your seatbelt firmly fastened- it may be a bumpy flight.

See Flight until 13th of February. For tickets and more information, head to fringeworld.com.au

Bella Broadway

Bella Broadway (she/her) is a lover of all things Fringe. When she’s not developing or delivering   mental health, well-being or inclusive practice projects, you can find her traipsing up north in her campervan, swimming with turtles or purring at random cats.  

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