Review: Last Dream (On Earth)

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BEFORE you enter the theatre you are handed a set of headphones.

As you walk down the corridor you put them on and hear musicians delivering some chilled, ambient music. There’s the occasional spoken word.

On stage, the five-strong cast are seated. They move only occasionally during this captivating performance which links two very different life changing journeys.

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Assembly Hall, The Mound

One is Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut, preparing for his ground-breaking flight into space, the other, un-named migrants trying to paddle their inflatable boat across the world’s busiest shipping line to a new life in Spain.

The narratives are interwoven and accompanied by a magnificent score. All made the more intense by the headphones, every whisper and vocal tick layered within the soundtrack accentuated.

The narrative on Gagarin is based on the recorded dialogue with his ground crew in the moments leading to his epic space voyage.

The minutiae of the last minutes before take-off are filled with the mundane, technical checks and personal re-assurance, culminating in total silence as the cosmonaut prepares to be hurled from the planet.

Several generations after we put men into space, we cannot get people to safety from desperately troubled locations in difficult times; the un-named refugees trying to get from Tunisia to Spain and a new life.

They explain the incredible challenges of simply getting to the shore and finding a vessel and then, once at sea, the sheer scale of the task that lies ahead.

It’s a performance filled with humanity and intensity, and the use of headphones for everyone - including the cast - makes it a unique, hypnotic entrancing experience.

Run ends 28 August