REVIEW: Flying into Daylight @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (27.11.14) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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There’s nothing better than going to see a show that you identify with. It almost validates your crazy behaviour and makes you realise that you’re not the only person around who is sometimes desperate for change. There has been plenty of work on the subject of self-discovery recently, especially since Eat Pray Love; it’s hard work for the writer to come up with a script that doesn’t seem trite, and luckily Emmy award-winning Ron Hutchinson has managed to do avoid doing just that.

The play is based on a story by Victoria Fischer, from suburban Buckinghamshire, who got hooked on tango and impulsively travelled to Buenos Aires to learn the intricacies of the dance, recording her adventure in a blog. The character upon whom she is based, Virginia (the wonderful Summer Strallen) leaves behind her job in an auction house (for me, not the dullest job in the world), her fiancé Phil, a nice enough guy from Chiswick with a decent enough job and average dreams, and her overly concerned parents after being inspired by a couple dancing at a local social dance, a milonga. Upon arriving in Argentina, she finds the passionate and charming dance teacher Marco, brilliantly played by Jos Vantyler (who impressively also plays Phil, Virginia’s father and a couple of other minor characters). She learns a few important life lessons in the process of following her heart.

I really enjoyed the addition of the musician, Julian Rowlands, a talented multi-instrumentalist who switched effortlessly between the bandoneon (a type of concertina popular in Argentina), piano and violin, which was far more evocative than just using recorded music. There are many laugh-out-loud moments too (including football and language references) in between all too familiar situations and admissions when the characters are at their most brutally honest. The dance is beautifully choreographed and performed, another character in Virginia’s complicated journey which will ring true with most of us that have ever considered stepping out of our comfort zone.

Flying into Daylight runs at the Live Theatre until 20th December.

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