I was hoping to watch something truly frightening at The Fringe and Flight definitely delivers the goods.
Gathered round a shipping container, we’re taken through a generalised version of what we’re about to experience – a pitch-dark, half-hour session of fear.
Inside is an astonishingly convincing recreation of a plane interior and, with our baggage safely stowed in the overhead lockers and headphones securely fastened, the onboard safety video begins. Things start to go wrong and the passengers are plunged into darkness. ‘Mr Shrödinger’ is told to report to the flight deck and the whispers through the headphones by the captain and flight attendants take a philosophical turn as they speak softly to you about parallel universes and an imminent crash.
Although I don’t claim to understand the concept of the multiverse, the disorientating nature of these short bursts of dialogue contributes perfectly to the befuddling nightmare.
What is most intriguing about this installation is the profoundly disorienting use of sound and manipulation of the headphones, which takes advantage of the extraordinary capacity of our hearing to pinpoint exactly where noise is coming from. The sounds of whispering, screaming and people moving around generate an experience that throws you in at fear’s deep end.
Flight taps into every flier’s nightmare, and the use of headphones isolates each member of the audience in a solitary world of unease that will leave you flabbergasted at the remarkably detailed world that can be created by sound and darkness.
Take the train back from Edinburgh.