THEATRE REVIEW: Grounded ★★★★★
Warwick Arts Centre
Tuesday 7th October 2014
When you first walk into the theatre space, we find the main character concealed in a big, large box, which has a tinge of green to it, portraying the Colour of the sky, that the pilot fly's in her F16 fighter plane, and with hardcore and remixed music played over the top, possibly signifying how hectic the job of a fighter pilot might have been.
The story follows the pilot, played by Lucy Ellinson, who at the beginning of the play is a F16 fighter pilot. She sores through the sky, known as 'The Blue', until when she is back at home, she has intercourse with Eric, where the action moves quickly on from then being pregnant, giving birth to Samantha, marrying Eric and moving to Viva Las Vegas, where she now sits in a trailer for 12 hour shifts each day, away from the life she used to have in the sky, and is juggling her work and being a wife and mother by night.
We find that Eric works at the pyramid, a casino, and as the play goes on, with a lot of reputation of the same shifts each day for the pilot, we see that their relationship is not going as well as before, Eric does not like the pilot coming home with her work uniform on, because it doesn't feel like him and Sam are her life anymore, and she's too focused on life in the Nevada desert.
Lucy Ellinson portrays 'The Pilot' beautifully in this one handed piece, which has had rave reviews from across the country, and winning awards at the fringe festivals, through her lovely tone and pace, and her way of conveying her double life as a drone warfare operator and a wife and mother, suffering with post traumatic stress disorder, is performed wonderfully.
The Production soon comes to a close, with the climax including her family heavily, and Lucy's performance in the last 10 minutes will really test the audience with their emotions, as it certainly did with mine. A really wonderful piece of theatre, and one which I never have seen the likes of before.
Post Show Discussion -
- Lucy expressed how it felt like there was still ongoing Research, where she watched YouTube videos of cockpits to get into the character.
- Lucy cannot see from the outside, whereas we can see through the inside, she sees in her mind that we are civilians, and inferior to herself. She sees the box as a mask, and it helps her feel superior to us.
- The play was originally written intended to be a male, but George decided to change it to a woman when he saw an article which had a photo of a female flighted pilot, pregnant, with a helmet under her arm.
- The play was not written with the set of a box in mind, with many productions having their own requirements; a minimalistic set with just a chair, one with a revolving stage, and a production which just simply having a single light only shone on the pilots face, among many other productions.
- Performed over 140 performances so far, and will touring till at least February 2015.