Vox Motus are promising story-telling at its most immersive for this year’s Brighton Festival.
They bring Flight to the King Alfred Leisure Centre from Saturday, May 4-Thursday, May 23 in an experience which will take each individual audience member to the very heart of the action.
You will watch the action unfold from your personal booth with the story and music in your headphones. Miniature images and models move slowly round in front of you, drawing you into a heart-wrenching journey undertaken by two brothers.
With their small inheritance stitched into their clothes, two children set off on an epic journey across Europe – orphaned refugee brothers on a desperate odyssey to freedom and safety.
In Jamie Harrison’s (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child magic effects and illusions designer) and Candice Edmunds’ unique staging, Flight combines unsettling themes with spellbinding images.
Mixing graphic novel with exquisite diorama, it is a story of hope and survival that draws you into its fragile miniature world, compelling you to contemplate the terror of children adrift in dangerous lands.
“It is such an unusual piece,” says Candice, “and difficult to describe! People are put into the experience and then brought out, but it is so hard to actually explain on paper what it is!
“When we came up with the idea, we were scribbling it all down. But the audience come in and are led into a space where they are seated in a booth, and they sit in front of this revolving carousel, and as it revolves they see the story.
“It is like a 3D graphic novel. We wanted to challenge ourselves and come up with a challenging way of telling this beautiful story.
“We ended up taking up a whole floor of a disused warehouse for eight months to put it together.
“25 people go through and watch the show at a time. They go in one by one at very short intervals and at the end are removed from their seat.
“We read a novel called Hinterland by Caroline Brothers, a journalist from Reuters, and she was doing a lot of coverage of asylum seekers and refugee children, and she felt that her unbiased reporting was not letting her tell the emotional story. And so she wrote her first novel about two Afghani children travelling from Afghanistan, trying to get to the UK.
“When we read her novel, something really spoke to us. We always seem to make work with children protagonists because they are really helpful prisms through which to see the world, this whole idea of them moving through different landscapes. But the more we mined the idea, the more we integrated the form, the more we wanted it to be a one-to-one experience and not just us telling the story.
“It is a question of challenging ourselves about how we want to stage it. We did it at Edinburgh International in 2017. That’s where it opened. Off the back of Edinburgh, it had huge interest and we went to New York for a three-month run and then we went to the Galway Festival and then to Australia, to Melbourne and then later this year, we are going to Abu Dhabi. It will be interesting to see how it is received there, and then I think it is going to go to the States again next year.
“When you have the experience, you understand how unique it is. The story is very emotional and very moving. I think it captures the heart and the imagination.”