Pilot, Summerhall (TechCube0), Review

Pilot -  photo Alex Brenner
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Eclipse Theatre Company
Lekan Lawal (writer / director / video designer), Gareth Fry (sound designer), Anthony Missen (movement director), Sharon Lueshing (costume designer), Tommo Fowler (dramaturg), David Butler (video system designer), Luke Woodbridge (sound operator), Emily Obasohan (stage manager), William Deady (technical stage manager), Beth Fulcher (assistant stage manager), David Llewellyn (technician), Sarah Cowan and Adam Jefferys (production managers).
Lekan Lawal
Running time

We are welcomed by our host who is really excited to be talking about the manuscript, which may or may not exist, but first a game.

In the absence of a ball or a Frisby a form of musical chairs is settled on with the victor from the audience sharing a time when they felt like a winner.

There is something about playing opposites, where we say the converse of what we feel that is connected to the manuscript.  Referring to a tablet Lawal investigates memories, writings and video footage relating to Al, who is a little of an unreliable narrator.

Bit by bit a looping story, merging truth and fiction is pieced together between a guy who thinks he can fly and a black British superhero.

Al has fallen from a height, suspended from his job with the force and looking to come back as an artist, pitching his graphic novel.  He just needs to convince people, including his family.  But he is beset by an inner monologue questioning his colour and telling him “I’m ashamed”; “I’m not good enough”; “I don’t want anyone to see me”; “I need a new disguise”.

These assertions are challenged by game show horns indicating false answers as he auditions to play the part of superhero.  Still the excitement of action, exceeding limits, is better than fear.  He is interested in the idea of a pilot show, where there is always the chance of a do-over, to make something out of nothing.

Mixing labyrinthine myths and trickster Gods the chronicle is also about family, new blood thicker than water, and how we stay committed to stories.

There is a lot to like in this innovative, vibrant and reflective way of storytelling with its tangential plot told in a mix of movement, projection, tumbling spoken word and audience participation.

Intriguing but fragmentary by nature,  some parts work better than others, feeling like a pilot for a further work.


Show Times: 3 – 27 (not 14, 21) August 2023 at 1.20pm.

Tickets: £15 (£13).

Suitability: 16+