Saturday, 3 August 2013

Review of the Fringe production Lockerbie: Lost Voices

Yesterday evening I was privileged to attend the first night (after two previews) of The Elements World Theatre’s production of Lee Gershuny’s play Lockerbie: Lost Voices. Also in the audience at the packed Netherbow Theatre in The Scottish Storytelling Centre were Lockerbie relatives Jim, Jane and William Swire (father, mother and brother of Flora) and Marina de Larracoechea (sister of Nieves, one of the flight attendants killed on Pan Am 103).

Six passengers -- only one of whom is based, very loosely, on an identifiable victim of the tragedy -- are seen first in the Pan Am lounge at Heathrow Airport and then on board the aircraft. They are three disparate couples whose characters, back stories, hopes and dreams are tellingly and subtly painted through the words that they speak to each other and through body language and facial expression. The destruction of the plane, when it inevitably comes, is one of the most shocking and harrowing scenes that I have ever experienced in a theatre. The final scene brings all of the characters together in a stylised but intensely moving chorus and antiphon of the dead.

This is a poignant and piercing play, magnificently acted and staged.  It would be wrong, though, to give the impression that it consists of an hour of unrelieved misery and gloom.  There are deft touches of humour, particularly from the play’s most likeable characters, an American married couple, Alan and Louise.  I cannot recommend the play too highly.

1 comment:

  1. I was also at this first performance,having seen a preview.
    I cannot better professor blacks comments.
    An emotional evening.