Imaginative leap of physical storytelling about the man who flew too high.
Icarus is a solo physical theatre show about a stowaway’s epic journey, hidden in the landing gear of a plane, before falling to his death in an unassuming London suburb. Combining Chaplin-esque virtuosity with an intricate, evocative soundscape, the myth of the dreamer who flies too close to the sun is reimagined as a modern tale of courage, hope, desperation and despair, brought to life with unexpected playfulness.
A naïve young man, oblivious to the events unfolding outside his door, is thrust unwillingly into the role of refugee, facing a fight for life that is so desperate, unimaginable risks are taken in search of safety. Icarus draws from the hundreds of reported cases of those who have taken the ultimate leap of faith in an attempt to escape intolerable conditions of conflict, disaster and oppression.
The piece is almost entirely wordless, using elements of mime, and at times expanding into more abstract, expressive movement, but predominantly using a physical language akin to that of silent films: slapstick, nimble, shifting fluidly between the worlds of dreams and reality, and between action-led narrative and clown-like play.
The soundscape by award-winning designer, Kimmo Vennonen, works in tandem with the performer’s movement to act as a live participant in the action. At times the sound provides naturalistic background atmosphere, to give a sense of location; at others, the construction of sound effects is closer to that of radio drama, complementing the character’s interactions with the world around him. As the journey progresses and the character’s reality becomes more and more alien and chaotic, the sound increasingly represents his inner emotional state, and in more abstract sequences, approaches musical composition.
Icarus is an ambitious cross-discipline experiment between physical theatre and sound design that aims for a pure, accessible form of storytelling, treating dark and complicated subject matter with a lightness of touch, and focusing on the humanity at the heart of this incredible story.
Overall Dance & Physical Theatre Award
FRINGE WORLD 2019
"Carroll’s blend of relatable domestic detail and slapstick comedy deftly draws the viewer in to the life of this modern-day Icarus, making the journey of risk and trauma that follows, and the work’s final moments, all the more moving."
"... physical theatre at its finest…equal parts comedic, emotive and despair-driven."
“a world-class show, well deserving of its interstate awards and accolades… Icarus rises to the challenge and packs a punch that unites us in shared experience rather than dividing with politics and preaching.”
Christopher Samuel Carroll
Stage Manager (Canberra)
The Blue Room Theatre, Perth
FRINGE WORLD Festival
29 January - 2 February 2019
The Street Theatre, Canberra
27 February - 3 March 2019