What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Idiot Child
Anna Harpin (writer / director), Charlie Parker (producer), Ben Pacey (lighting designer), Sam Halmarack (sound designer), Laura Dannequin (movement consultant).
Susie Riddell (Heron), Adam Fuller (Magpie), and Emma Keaveny-Roys (Feral Pigeon).
Running time

We are welcomed to this taster of Fear Camp by the three blazered and badged staff. They have never done this before but have been practicing all day – it’s going to be fine; there is nothing to worry about.

Or, as it turns out, rather a lot. We embark on a tour of the troublesome thoughts that lurk when we wake at 4am. What if those are the truth? What if the only reason the plane stays in the sky is because you are thinking really encouraging thoughts about the wings? What if we are fundamentally unable to be happy?

Amidst a list of surreal and irrational fears the audience expose some of their own – butterflies (due to their flapping beautifulness), dying alone, farting during oral sex. We are all weirdos.

But not as weird as the siblings living alone in their family therapy cellar for 18 years, seemingly slipping through the crack of social services to survive on a diet of ham. They have been abandoned by their disappointed parents; although their father is walking back from the Algarve and will return soon. Probably.

In the meantime, they have become the disciples of the mysterious Geoff Fuller. At his guidance, they have created an emotional obstacle course involving interpretive dance, strange rituals, affirmations, glitter and, of course, ham.

In all this playful madness, there is Stygian darkness as Heron’s extreme if well intentioned attempts to hold it together come apart and the truth starts to show.

It’s a mixed bag, some parts are overplayed and the zaniness is so far out there it’s probably (like the parents) never coming back. Still the show produces a warm glow, and not just from the free mojito and blowing up a balloon (sorry, transferring emotions to the breathing bag).

It takes less of a pop at mindfulness and positive assertions than at the ridiculous things we tell ourselves and choose to believe. By the end the audience are happy to have their hands in the air.

It may sound unnerving but take advice from that seminal book in the canon of self-help- “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

Show Times: 2 – 28 (not 14) August 2017 at 4.20pm.

Tickets: £9 (£8) to £12 (£11).

Suitability: 14+