Passengers, Summerhall, Review

Submitted by Jon Cross on Sun, 11 Aug '19 11.43am
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Vacuum Theatre
Kit Redstone (writer), Jessica Edwards (director), Jolie Booth (producer), Alberta Jones (designer), Roshan Conn (stage manager), Dan Saggers (light), Owen Crouch (sound and composition), Alexander Eisenthal (production assistant)
Neil Chinneck, Jessica Clark, Kit Redstone, and featuring the voice of Rory Fleck-Byrne
Running time

Three masked figures climb and swing on a cube of scaffolding in synchronised movements to the rhythm of a pounding beat. Finally exhausted, they strip off their masks and take a moment to review the situation.

Max has really done it this time. They are very worried about him. It simply cannot go on like this. What a thing to do! In a sudden outburst of pure rage, Max has picked up a chair and hurled it through the front window of a café. All because the waiter had brought him the wrong sandwich! What on earth has brought him to this?

And so the three of them set off to explore the inner workings of Max’s mind. It does not take too long before we rumble the identity of these three very different characters – one with wild, uncontrolled animal instincts, one who grapples with the day-to-day realities and one who judges and criticises. The scaffold cube that frames the drama is the labyrinthine battlefield in which the various parts of Max's personality strive to gain the upper hand.

This clever theatrical device allows for some interesting possibilities. What would happen if one, or even two of the characters were silenced or overpowered? If Max could break free – and just be himself - would he live off the grid in a van in The Amazon, or would he settle down and be safe and sensible in a quiet gated community?

There is a Freudian quest to seek out the childhood trauma at the heart of Max’s anger and pain, but the central idea of the play is that every one of us is carrying a family of passengers, arguing and fighting amongst themselves in a way that is never going to be fully resolved.

Passengers is an inventive, playful and funny piece of theatre which explores the complex realities that make us human.

August 13-18, 20-25 at 14:30