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Monday, 7 March 2016

Night Flyer- Why I think You Need To Get Out More


Spook is out cold. His mates can't even get him on his feet. “Is he breathing alright? Don't wanna be with him if he's not breathing alright.” It's cold, it's dark and no one's seen the Night Flyer...

I am going to the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town for a performance of Night Flyer on Friday night and I am excited. Being totally honest, I have not seen any of the cast in anything before but looking at their previous appearances they are professionals on the acting circuit. That's kind of the point really isn't it? As Theatre goers and with seat prices always on the increase it's really easy to play it safe. Only seeing plays that you like means that you don't ever really stray out of your Theatrical comfort zone. This is the problem with Theatre today, producers seem to believe that the only way they get bums on seats is to cast well knowns in the key roles or stage yet another Disney cross over. But if you make the effort and do a little digging you discover the jugular vein that pumps blood round the rest of Theatre Land. That arterial force is Fringe Theatre, Off Broadway or, if you are London based, found in the many Theatres that are to be discovered on the edges of our great Capital. 

With the success of the Pub Theatre venues, you can go and experience a fantastic live Theatre performance and enjoy a Real Ale at the same time. There is nothing more invigorating, nothing that is going to make you feel more alive than arriving at a venue and not having the slightest clue what you are about to see. As I am reviewing Night Flyer, I asked Hannah Kelly (one of the plays cast members) what I could expect. Her answer was both absolutely correct and also a challenge to me and possibly other theatre goers who have opted to stay with what they know. 

"Nothing! You'll have to wait and see. It's always best when you don't know what you're walking into"

I need to do this more often! Thinking back over my years of Theatre going I can count on the fingers of one hand the plays that I have entirely hated. Sure, there have been elements within a play that didn't work for me or casting decisions that seemed misplaced. The odd faux pas on the staging front or a directorial vision that seemed very much "on another planet" but to wish I hadn't even bothered turning up, that takes some doing! I have the deepest respect for Theatrical Creatives, both performing and on the Production Team, that painstakingly put a play together for my enjoyment. The dedication, talent and skill it takes to even get to opening night is something that will always thrill me. We owe it to these amazing people to spend a little time with them. As much as I believe it is essential that we "read outside of our comfort zone" I also passionately feel we should view Theatre on the same terms. If we only ever go and see what the critics tell us to we can hardly complain that there is nothing new on and that Theatres are only full of musicals or well known Hollywood stars "having a go" can we?

Put off Theatre because of the cost buying a ticket? Then this is most definitely something you need to investigate! You can pick up a ticket for Night Flyer at £11 which is a fraction of the cost to see the bigger shows! It is also substantially cheaper than seeing the latest blockbuster at the cinema with the huge plus that THIS IS LIVE THEATRE. Kudos to DeadPool, but Theatre has been breaking the fourth wall for decades and its not about to stop now! The shiver of expectation that shoots down my spine when the house lights dim is only heightened when I don't know what is about to happen or what I am about to see.

As Night Flyer moves towards its opening night I sincerely wish Hannah Kelly, Anishka Klass, Jack Cottrell,Matthew Emeny and Harvey Bassett every success. I am very much looking forward to watching on Friday night and thank you for awakening my desire to expand my theatre going experience and to stop playing it safe all the time!

Night Flyer opens tonight at The Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town at 8pm and is on until Saturday. You can book tickets here

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