LEAVING PLANET EARTH
Leaving Planet Earth
EICC (transport provided to Ratho climbing centre)
20.15 departure (meet at 19.45)
The idea of Leaving Planet Earth is to take audiences on an immersive journey to a “New Earth” leaving an earth behind which has been destroyed by riots, fires and World War three. There was massive potential in this idea, and it started off with lots of excitement, with the audience being split into three groups and given a mysterious bracelet which we were told would gather data but little was revealed about what it would do. Then buses were provided to Edinburgh Climbing Centre at Ratho where the different groups were taken on a tour around the building to different rooms where the story is developed and audiences are introduced to different characters who live on New Earth in an acclimatisation centre.
Despite enthusiastic attempts from the actors involved to convince us we were on another planet, the overall aftertaste of this experience was disappointing. Perhaps as we’re so used to special effects now from the world of film in science-fiction, it is a lot more difficult to convey that sense of wonder and awe which you imagine you would feel on a new planet. The choice of venue was good in terms of the industrial zone style central foyer, use of lighting in the quarry and size of the climbing arena for dramatic tone at the finale, however overall it felt a little lacking. There was an amazing opportunity here to create either an original audience participatory experience, or an overwhelming display of technology and music yet it didn’t quite make it. It was well organised in terms of timing and moving large numbers of people around, yet the actual experiences in each room were about as new worldly as going to a library. The mysterious bracelet from the beginning wasn’t used to its potential either. Maybe more one for children than adults as it was very hard to stretch the imagination quite far enough to fully believe the experience. An excellent concept that didn’t quite live up to the expectation. TWO STARS.
Reviewer – Antoinette Thirgood