“So for once in my life
Let me get what I want
Lord knows, it would be the first time” – The Smiths (Johnny Marr / Steven Patrick Morrissey)
What the two crew members of the spaceship “Lily of the Nile” want is to get home and save the Earth.
They are returning from a two-year mission to a faraway planet with microbes which might convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, combating climate change and saving tens of thousands of lives, or may have devasting consequences for the environment.
Charged with finding the answers on their delicate ecosystem is Dr Sarah Taylor, a logical and devoted scientist with a resolute if somewhat irrational faith in religion.
Pilot Jessica Holland would like to break Taylor’s cold calculating scientist façade and spends a lot of time distracting her, often with her weak spot for Bowie and The Smiths.
For each of them getting this far in their careers has been ten times harder as woman, Taylor having her own work mansplained to her and Holland having to prove her skills and spend 5 hours in the gym. A brain and brawn combination that sees Holland griping that she has navigated them all the way there only to be handed a shovel.
While Taylor works, they discuss love, family, loneliness, creeds, metaphor and noodles, and then the alarms go off. With things looking like they are heading off course and the ship and relationships potentially broken they race to patch things up.
The Plot is slightly thin, and the characters are not fully fleshed out and amazingly this doesn’t really matter. The stellar performances and the high production values create a rare thing in space dramas, atmosphere. Having just hinted backstories makes the pair completely believable and the production has a filmic quality. There’s bold direction too - It’s unlikely that there will be another show on the Fringe that can make sticking duct tape to the floor engrossing.
A riveting look at whether we have what it takes to save a planet.
Show Times: 4 – 28 (not 14,21) August 2023 at 3.20pm.
Tickets: £13.50 (£12.50) to £15.50 (£14.50).
Suitability: 16+ (Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, scenes of violence, strobe lighting, strong language/swearing).