‘Flight’ was indescribable.
Sitting in front of Home of The Arts (HOTA) Gold Coast is a large shipping container with the word ‘FLIGHT’ written on it. This shipping container has been decked out on the inside to look exactly like the interior of an aeroplane’s economy cabin. Upon entry, everyone must take their seats and place noise-cancelling headphones on, at which point, they will be treated to a flight of their own.
Presented by Darkfield Australia, this unique and interactive trip showcases a story that is vague and open to interpretation. Only one character or actor is visibly seen in the form of a pre-recorded flight announcement from a stewardess (Eugénie Pastor). Other characters are heard through the headphones such as a pilot (Nigel Barrett) and other passengers.
Aptly named ‘Flight’, the themes, within the experience, touch on a many-worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and the human understanding of death. The audience is positioned as a passive participant, in what appears to be a dangerous and neglected aeroplane flight.
What ‘Flight’ ultimately becomes is an exercise in sensory deprivation. The lights turn out once the “journey” begins and participants are left with nothing but the sounds of your headphones. From here the sounds effectively simulate a 360° audio experience, to the point where instincts often force one to turn their head or try to touch the person that seems to be whispering in their ear.
Beyond that, ‘Flight’ will be a deeply personal experience for any individual patron. When it comes to creating a purely atmospheric experience, it is second to none.
The set, the lighting (or lack thereof) and the audio soundscape all work in tandem to transport audiences into a completely different, unsettling reality. It would be a disservice to the production to even attempt to describe the experience from there.
In many ways, ‘Flight’ blurs the line between theatre and a theme park ride. If you’re heading down the Gold Coast to take a trip to one of the local theme parks, this would be the ideal way to finish off the day. At only 30 minutes in length, ‘Flight’ never risks overstaying its welcome or overextending its concept. It is a truly unique experience that frankly, this review does not do justice to.
‘Flight’ performs at HOTA until Sunday, 1 October 2023. For more information, visit Darkfield Australia’s website.