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Roam - World Premiere.
A National Theatre of Scotland co-production with Gird Iron.
Director - Ben Harrison.
Devisers of the play - Ben Harrison and the company - full details here.
Dramaturg - Zinnie Harris.
Assistant Director - Jemina Levick.
Choreographer - Fleur Darkin.
Lighting Designer - Paul Claydon.
Composer/Sound Designer - Philip Pinsky.
Set Designer - Clifton Doliver.
Assistant Set Designer - Davy Dummigan.
Costume Designer - Joan Hickson.
Assistant Costume Designer - Ailsa Rendell.
Companies - Gird Iron Compamy Website and National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) Company Website
Cast - here .
Venue - BAA Edinburgh Airport. Audience must embark on the production from The Traverse Theatre by the special bus and will be returned there by it.
Dates - 4 - 22 April not Suns. Departs Traverse Theatre at 8:30pm (not Sundays) and includes return travel.
Run Time - 2 hours 30 mins including two 30mins bus journeys.
Reviewer - Thelma Good.
Trip you'll delight to be part.
I am by no means a frequent flyer but Roamair, the fictitious airline in Grid Iron's and National Theatre of Scotland's Roam, directed by Ben Harrison has got me after a ground-bound decade wanting to fly again. There's a post-post-modern take on air travel with their trolley captions "I miss You", "We travel too much" and their wheelchair, The Dream machine 32. For there is a rich use of the visual in the production including evidence of angels' and the range of clothing people choose to travel in. Fleur Darkin's choreography adds to the feeling of zest, energy and delight and to the strengths of the piece.
Taking place in BAA's Edinburgh Airport, with a cast both professional and community of all ages, sizes and cultures, Roam is a very public show. As the last few flights arrive and leave, real passengers and their welcoming or farewelling families find their travel experiences having an extra dimension as Roam takes place close to them.
They are captured and intrigued, as we are by the formation dancing air crew - the females in their aqua blue uniforms and sixties blonde wigs and then the amazing variety of passengers who come to get away for pleasure, for work and in a serious strand to find safety away from civil war Scotland in Sarajevo, Beirut and Kigali. The fragility of order lives is pierced, little fears and large surface and the recorded announcements instructs us "not to leave our children unattended". Yes this show entertains, enriches and edifies us.
This is a theatre performance where you can see things - bemused Orientals trying to get a handle on Western ways, a man, all in leather with waist length hair or a child slowing pushing a very heavy suitcase - some are as the director intended but two were "found theatre" floating in from the real world. Airports and flying are extraordinary, heightened reality experiences and Roam rejoices in them too.
The audience are collected from the front of the Traverse, their passports checked (photo-id is needed for this performance), and then follows a 30 minute bus ride to the airport. There's some amplified music which usefully imprints us with Philip Pinsky's haunting theme sounds. But the attempts to have us listen to short spoken pieces fail to be heard over the audience's chatter and the bus engine - a courier or two would have worked better.
Once we arrive at the check-in and the many characters begin to appear Roam takes off. It transports us into other people's worlds, we get a snatch here and a snatch there, some stories we only meet once, others we encounter again. It's very in tune with its surroundings, where all ages, cultures and politics can surface. As well Pinsky's soundscape, musicians Galo Ceron-Carrasco and Kerieva McCormick play and sing Roma and South America music with striking effect, while Paul Claydon's lighting capture the moods.
Harrison has fielded a wide ranging and exceptional professional cast, they all play many roles, their talents ensure we go where ever they are going and the community cast add more variety. Only one set of encounters between the Terminal Manager and Captain lack the fine trim of all the other flights of imagination, their discussions just a little too private and setback to engage. Gird Iron's backstage crew must be mentioned for the skill and dedication which ensure we move around in designer Clifton Doliver's and costume designer Joan Hickson's theatrically transformed environment.
I gather the production is presently sold out though returns do happen. It's certainly worth trying to get aboard, for in the world of theatre as a whole, and promenade theatre in particular, it's the kind of trip you'll delight to be part of and treasure long in the memory. Hopefully Grid Iron and NTS will be able to let Roam take to the air again soon.
© Thelma Good 5 April 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Cast - Sarah Belcher, Claire Cochrane, Andrew Clark, Gero Danka, Saseen Kawzally, John Kazek, Lisette Merenciana, Itxaso Moreno.
Musicians - Galo Ceron-Carrasco and Kerieva McCormick.
Community Cast - Dennis Chakonda, Clive Desmond, Lucy Gogoliuk, Lorna Gow, June Gray, Willie Green, Louise Green, Jane Heron, Ciara McCaw, Alis McGuiness, Caitlin McGuiness, Jane Mitchell, Aurora Palko, Xande Palko, Sebastian Palko, Eloy Pena, Arnold Smit, Zozek Tayeb, Saula Vasakula and Dorothy Wilson.
Devisers of the play - Ben Harrison, Sarah Belcher, Cora Bisset, Galo Ceron-Carrasco, Claire Cochrane, Andrew Clark, Gero Danka, Tony Delicata, Saseen Kawzally, John Kazek, Lisette Merenciana, Itxaso Moreno, Kerieva McCormick and James Traherne. The script development occurred over a 18 month period.
Theatre Editor, Thelma Good's e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
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