Space holds as much excitement, mystery and awe for us now as it did forty years ago, and our interstellar explorations still represent the pinnacle of human achievement. In their new play Voyager, Idle Motion present their musings about the innate human desire for exploration.
Using an effective blend of dialogue, physicality and clever staging, the energetic ensemble of five take the audience on a journey through a very turbulent few months in protagonist Carrie’s life. After the death of her mother, Carrie becomes transfixed by her legacy – The Golden Record, a time capsule of human life on Earth sent up with the Voyager spacecraft on its mission to Mars. Serendipitously, an opportunity arises for Carrie to apply for a space programme going to Mars and she feels compelled to give it a try.
Grace Chapman gives a strong performance as the complex, conflicted Carrie and she is well supported by Julian Spooner as her fiancé, Ben. The ensemble work is strong, particularly in the excellent sequences of dance and movement which are elegantly choreographed and move the plot forward quickly but seamlessly.
This engaging form of storytelling is well suited to the topic of space exploration and the literal and metaphorical journey that Carrie takes. However, the end of the piece is rather weak and abrupt, falling back onto cliché. The way the conflict is resolved is simply not brave enough to do justice to the rest of the piece.
Overall, Voyager is an imaginative and entertaining wander through one woman’s attempt to find her place among the stars.
Reviewed by Annabel Mellor
Photo: Tom Savage