Curbside Present: Flight

2015FLIGHT_9BAnchored downstairs at Assembly’s Roxy is Curbside’s Flight. I arrived to adults and children alike fidgeting eagerly outside.

Written by Ezra LeBank and based on Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight tells the story of an earthbound aviator seeking for his old friend, The Little Prince. Performed by an acrobatic trio, Flight is a visually stimulating and ethereal show about the search for wonderment and forgotten truth.

A treat for creatures great and small.

We set off on an adventure with The Pilot; a man who once knew how to fly. Now, when The Pilot looks at the stars he feels sad; he’s forgotten what it all means. So we set off in search of what he has known; an inner peace and understanding that only a Little Prince can help him rediscover.

The first thing that struck me about Curbside is their manner of address; especially towards children. These performers exude a genuine reverence for their young audience; they seem almost envious of their imaginative superiority. Flight is a celebration of that human faculty so often dampened with age. For the adults in the audience, the show is humbling and nostalgic, sometimes even accusatory, as Curbside set out to remind us all of what’s important. The company have done a stunning job creating a play that speaks in two tongues; reminding the young of the power they possess, and the old of what they must not loose.

Flight is a combination of contact acrobatics and story-telling. The oral story is mainly told by Ezra LeBank, who plays The Pilot, while the physical story is lead by Cynthia Price (The Little Prince) and Taylor Casas (The Cactus, et al.). There is a truly playful ingenuity in how these two forms meet on stage; reactionary and never gratuitous, the two compliment each other perfectly. This duality is important; the ‘physical’ and the ‘oral’ are champions for the heart and the mind. Curbside express the importance of balancing the two in a play that is warm and bright.

The script is delightful. Reminding me of nonsense childhood games and the lyrics of Kimya Dawson; LeBank’s writing gets under your skin and makes you smile. It demands a different kind of commitment from the audience; we have to come to meet this play, ready to pretend. Full of charming characters, each with their own subtle yet vital philosophies, LeBank has done well to balance important lessons with joyful humour and adventure. Again, this play makes you feel, regardless of how old you are.

The choreography is clever and precise, and the three performers play harmoniously together; they succeed in making everything appear weightless and chimerical. From cars and planes, to whales and cacti; this play needs nothing more than committed bodies to transport us across the seas and deserts. Watching this performance, I couldn’t help but feel revitalised and reminiscent of my own childhood.

Flight is a clever and heat-felt adventure, performed brilliantly by a dedicated cast. The story stretches the imagination and has a positive and important message; ‘don’t forget what really matters’.

The children, invited to the front row, sat transfixed to this story; delighted by the moments of participation and absorbed in the narrative; a finer praise than I could ever give. The cast even hang around at the end to talk about the show, have their pictures taken and sign programmes.

Flight is an excellent outing and one that moves you, whether you’re a child or were one once.

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