[THEATRE ~ ADELAIDE PREMIERE ~ SA]
Holden St Theatre – The Arch, Tue 5 Mar.
Martha Lott delivers an intense and fluid performance in George Brant’s demanding monologue about a female fighter pilot whose personal circumstances are impacted by the changing nature of warfare. The action and dialogue flits from one setting to another, from one emotion to another in what feels like a blink of an eye.
Lott holds her audience throughout – we are right there with her as she proudly struts around proclaiming her prowess as a jet fighter pilot. We are there with ready laughter as she makes dry and witty asides, and empathise when she finally unravels.
Initially we see the adrenaline buzz and self-belief of the pilot and her ability to drop bombs on targets with precision. But there is no existential examination about the morality of her actions – she never has to wait around to witness her terrible impact on her victims.
When her circumstances change, she is at first confronted by her loss of heroic esteem by being ‘grounded’ – stuck behind a desk. But finally, through the wonders of modern technological warfare, she also gets to witness the effects of her actions on her victims, with devastating results.
Lott’s modulated delivery and her American accent is impressive. The simplicity of the set with just a blue to grey backdrop and a single chair add to the power of the script and allow her the freedom to move around the stage with ease. No other props are required.
This is a sobering and riveting play which poses the underlying question – should life and death decisions be made; should warfare be conducted in such a removed state that the person who pushes the trigger does so because it is a way to break the boredom – because it gives them an adrenalin rush.
Powerful and galvanising.
Grounded continues at Holden Street Theatres – The Arch, at various times, until Sun 17 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.