Pioneer by the excellent Curious Directive is a visually stunning piece of immersive theatre, beautifully and sensitively performed by this highly talented young company.
The stylish staging is impressive with three enormous moving trucks and imposing computerised graphics projected onto screens that add a new vibrant dimension to the production.
Set in the not too distant future, a mission has been funded by a reclusive Indian billionaire Mrs Singh to travel on a one-way trip to Mars.
A previous expedition in 2025 ended in disaster when the spacecraft disappeared with all the astronauts presumed lost.
This sci-fi adventure follows the fate of Ghara 1 as it hurtles through the galaxy.
On board are a crew of scientists and husband and wife Imke and Oskar from Holland.
When Oskar goes missing whilst doing maintenance work on the outside of the craft, Imke becomes more agitated and sinks into a depression.
Meanwhile, back at mission control, Shari is determined that everything will go to plan, ably assisted by the young, ambitious Rudi. But not all is as it appears.
In the depths of Siberia, two brothers, Alyosha and Ivan, have embarked on a drunken trip from Moscow in a Lada car to search out the origins of space travel.
Deep under the sea, Imke’s sister, Maartje, is exploring the ocean depths and is on the brink of finding new undiscovered creatures before she is urgently summoned back to help her sister.
All of the characters are on personal voyages of discovery and you can’t help but be drawn into their world.
There is a strong biblical link to Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden that reflects the perils that face the astronauts stepping into the unknown.
This is a remarkable play with an unexpected and cruel twist at the end that is astutely directed by Jack Lowe. It should definitely be on your to see list.
Reviewer: Robin Strapp