Woman! Pilot! Pirate?, Vault Festival

Pareidolia’s mostly mime and music tale of a woman trying to find Amelia Johnson’s resting place is a confused piece that would be poorer without its performers Samuel Kemp and Grace Lyons Hudsons.

Hudson plays a mostly mute woman who after being fired from her job in a travel agent decides to find her heroine Amelia Johnson’s final resting spot (This production doesn’t mention the recent development that she may have been a prisoner of war) with Samuel Kemp voicing the other characters she finds on her adventures; from the pirates she encounters, annoying customers and eventually a love interest.

Whilst I found it very charming I am not sure what I saw in Owain Talbot and Hudson’s show; it felt very chaotic, with lots of ideas that never quite came together or that were never clarified. At times it felt rather childish and more suited to the Unicorn Theatre than the Vaults.  Hudsons is a great comic performer, very in keeping with Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean, but theatre felt like the wrong medium for this production. It reminded me of ZZZap! and would be much better suited to a short film because both performers felt too exaggerated for the stage, even allowing this is aimed at being produced for/by people with disabilities.

Whilst it is an accessible production, with an app producing captions, it is a shame that ultimately this is a forgettable show with memorable performances.

Woman! Pilot! Pirate? is on until 3 March https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/woman-pilot-pirate/

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