What If The Plane Falls Out of the Sky? (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

What If The Plane Falls Out of the Sky?

Idiot savants in Idiot Child Company's interactive play looking at anxiety

If socially anxious really is the new hale and hearty, Idiot Child have got it covered. The uninhibited trio, Heron (Susie Riddell) Feral Pigeon (Emma Keaveney-Roys) and Magpie (Adam Fuller) are as if the kids from Viz' 'Modern Parents' cartoon strip grew up and got into the self-help Ted talk game. Those unblinking, dark-circled eyes have seen some things.

When the rictus grins fade, all that remains is a twitching jellied mess on the verge of tears ('Dad's not coming back, is he?' they whimper. 'Shall we cuddle with clothes on this time?') and their guide to surviving modern-day tensions is both inspired and gloriously daft, rainbow bright in its presentation – yet somewhat curdled.

Encouraging the audience to draw their fears and phobias is oddly cathartic, particularly at this stage of the festival, but there is an underlying darkness at the heart of the show, with the suggestion that deep-seated fears formed in childhood do set a template for later life. Anna Harpin's script, in its life-affirming way, brings creative play to an adult audience: nothing glitter and a fable about a tiny neurotic horse can't fix.

And if that fails, there's always an inspired dance routine to Laurie Anderson's O Superman to shake off the blues. A wee gem of a show, even if it's like an exhausted child at the end.

Pleasance Courtyard until 28 Aug, 4.20pm, £9–£12 (£8–£11).

What If the Plane Falls Out of the Sky?

  • 4 stars

Idiot Child What if how I feel about myself and the world at 4am is the truth? What if people really do think I’ve got a disappointing face? What if I take off all my clothes and my lover just politely turns away? Join residents of Fear Camp as they tackle their sense of impending doom with gleeful enthusiasm and…