Review: Last Dream (On Earth) @ Tron theatre Glasgow

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Photograph: 'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC

Genre: Drama

Venue: Tron Theatre, Glasgow

WebsiteLast Dream (On Earth) 

Lowdown

‘A traveller stands on a beach in North Africa, with  a group of friends. Tonight, they will try it. Tonight they are getting ready, for a journey to change their lives. Here, we will never know their names.

Decades earlier, a young man is strapped into a tiny sphere. He is ready for his mission: to become the first Human Being in Outer Space. His name will soon be known: his name is Yuri Gagarin.

As if out of nowhere, a musical dialogue starts. Words are spoken, the story of the trip of a lifetime emerges. It is a story of hope, dreams and beauty and of sheer inhumanity.’

Review

Created and directed by Kai Fischer, in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Tron Theatre, the world premiere of Last Dream (On Earth) comes to Glasgow.

Two very different stories, with common themes of communication and trust, interweave to create a compelling performance that brings together two dreams. The first story’s dialogue is taken directly from the transcripts and records of communication between ground control and Yuri Gagarin as he becomes the first human in space. The second is created from conversations and interviews Fisher had with African migrants he met while researching how Africans aimed to escape oppression and heavy racism by traveling to Spain for a better life.

The dialogues are performed alongside live music, and sound that is all streamed through earphones each audience member wears. This creates quite a personal experience making it easy to forget there is anyone else in the audience at all. My worry that the earphones would be a distraction soon dissolved as I found myself forgetting I was even wearing them. This teamed with occasional visuals of starry skies and something that resembled the time vortex of Doctor Who, aswell as the darkness, creates a wonderful sense of disorientation once the performance is over.

In the beginning it is a mystery as to what buy neurontin 300 mg links these two stories and why they had been put together in such a way. However, as both stories progress it becomes obvious how important communication is for both. Especially when communication is lost for a time between Gagarin and ground control. The lengthy silence that occurs here is a bold move during a performance that is heavily reliant on sound. Trust also is a large factor, both Gagarin and the migrants must trust in others to help them reach their goals, aswell as trust in their vehicles; for one a rocket, for another a yellow dinghy.

The overlapping of the two dialogues at times is skillfully done and connects the two stories nicely. On occasion voices from the other story appear dreamlike in the background, forming that link and preventing a static performance as the performers switch from one story to the other. Sound is used effectively to portray the noises that build up their landscapes and build a visual of them, the headphones allowing for distortions, and differences in sound to be more apparent. The music that plays throughout a lot of the performance adds to this and does not overbear the scenes. The use of guitar to portray the responses in a telephone conversation is an especially nice touch.

The performers pulled me into their worlds brilliantly, despite their stationary positions throughout, and I found myself caring about the fates of these people. Ryan Gerald inparticular, as Gagarin, provoked emotion through his performance. His “Lets go.”, as the sounds of the rocket taking off towards space filled the headphones, sent a shiver through me.

Last Dream (On Earth) is an interesting piece that pushes against the boundaries of conventional performance very well while still telling stories that should be told. A triumph for Kai fisher and for Tron theatre.

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Christine Lawler 42 Articles
Christine has a passion for literature and has been a closeted writer since childhood. Other passions include theatre, film, and all things geeky. She lives in Glasgow with a cat named Molls and a tortoise named Haruki Kabuki.

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