Vox Motus have been generously sharing some behind-the-scenes photos building up our idea of what we can expect from the world premiere of Flight at the International Festival this August. Each picture reveals a new intriguing element of their new production – from the elaborate, metres-long storyboard to sound recording sessions with ‘Belinda’. It’s obvious: something truly special is in the making, so we were really excited to visit the Vox Motus workshop in Glasgow last week.
When we arrived to the workshop in Glasgow on a very, very rainy day, Artistic Director Candice Edmunds and Producer Susannah Armitage welcomed us with a cup of tea. As we were drying off holding on to the warm mugs, our eyes kept wandering around the workshop – so many intriguing figures, colourful models, and all sorts of mysterious tools were popping up from everywhere.
Flight is based on Caroline Brothers’ novel Hinterland telling a story of two young orphaned brothers embarking on a desperate odyssey across Europe to freedom and safety; an epic journey of terror, hope and survival. The theatre company first approached adapting the novel to stage four years ago. As the public discourse and news coverage of refugee stories have been changing drastically ever since, so has Vox Motus’ idea for the most engaging way of telling the story. Although the format is fun and visually stunning, it is used to tell a profound story and it doesn’t shy away from bleak, unsettling themes.
The production has eventually been transformed into the following format: you will watch the action unfold as models in a diorama slowly move in front of you, speech and music conveyed through your own individual headphones. It sounds absolutely fascinating, but what does it mean exactly? We were about to find out and so are you if you keep on reading.
Following the chat, Candice and Susannah took us to a separate room, a huge workshop space across the building. There it was – a massive diorama that the team were referring to as ‘the carousel’. It was still a work in progress at the time, but already looking stunning with so many wonderful boxes on the outside and so many wires and switches on the inside. Take a look for yourself below.
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Let’s take a moment to talk about the boxes, all 200+ (!) of them to be precise. As you sit in your booth, the diorama will be slowly spinning, revealing boxes of various shapes and sizes illustrating plot points of the story. They are different and unique, but created with the same level of craftsmanship.
What you can see inside the boxes are 3D-printed figures of the boys, all printed in Glasgow-based STEP 3D studio, individually hand-painted by the Vox Motus team. The world’s environment, from buildings’ facades to vegetation on the fields, is all precisely modelled and hand-painted in the workshop.
We were going around the diorama peeking into every box until our heads were spinning, but we just couldn’t help it. The production design is mesmerising and combined with the compelling story it is telling, we have an unforgettable experience ahead of us this August.
Book your tickets for Flight on 4-27 August (except 8, 12, 13, 16, 22) at Church Hill Theatre Studio as part of the 2017 International Festival.