FRINGE REVIEW – The Vanishing Horizon


Occasionally one stumbles upon a little gem of a production that sticks in the memory long after August has ended and the flyers have disappeared. Sometimes, such as when it is a devised piece or site-specific, the chances for a repeat performance seem very slim. But if audiences are very lucky indeed, the best of these shows are resurrected.

Idle Motion’s beautifully staged and emotionally rich ‘The Vanishing Horizon’ was one of the most memorable shows of the 2010 Fringe, and has happily been revived for a short run as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase. This follows a successful UK tour and residency at Oxford Playhouse. All most impressive for a young company founded in 2007.

The Fringe is afloat in devised theatre, but for too many young companies this can be an excuse for laziness and cliche. Fortunately Idle Motion are here to show the others how it is done. The storyline here is straightforward but emotionally complex, the acting subtle and confident, the staging inventive but not gimmick-y.

‘The Vanishing Horizon’ tells the story of the pioneers of female aviation, interwoven with stories of brave and independent women and the journeys they have made, and indeed that have made them. Thanks to the talented cast and the ingenious staging, the audience have a real sense of the courage of these women, as well as the excitement, joy, fear and anticipation that so often accompany a journey into the unknown.

The most striking part of this production is the inventive staging, whereby a collection of vintage suitcases form most of the set. Through beautifully choreographed, balletic motion, we see the cast transform these suitcases into cars, planes and hotel rooms. Handbags become soaring birds, departure boards flicker to life and paper aeroplanes crash in slow motion. But this is no case of style over substance – the visuals may be the initial attraction but it is the emotional depth that truly dazzles.

Idle Motion are still relative newcomers to the world of theatre, but with this production they demonstrate their ability to hold their own alongside any more established company.

22-27 Aug 1235 (1330) @  Zoo

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