Review: Pioneer

NNF 2014: Pioneer by Curious Directive NNF 2014: Pioneer by Curious Directive

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
12:42 PM

Space journeys, even fictional ones, are fraught with risk. Curious Directive’s new production Pioneer, which chronicles the first manned missions to Mars, is an ambitious and challenging piece.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Premiering at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival the opening night started late due to technical problems and ran 30 minutes over time.

The narrative had its kinks too: a Russian student thread is overwrought and the interweaving stories are tough for the audience to follow, combined as they are with intrusive set movements and hand-held video work.

But for all that at its crucial moment all those disparate pieces snap into an epiphany, finding their orbits and forming a coherent whole. It does work. The mission succeeds, with a poignant and emotional conclusion.

At the centre is astronaut Imke, played with extreme gentleness and calm by Flora Denman and the increasingly frantic flight director Sanjay (Naveed Khan). His icily ambitious assistant Kayo (Susan Hingley) bites at his heels, as the world watches the Mars mission unfold. David Burnett and Robert Heaps take on five characters each, Caitlin Ince three; they meet that challenge but the condensed casting can be confusing to watch.

Cecilia Carey’s design is deceptively basic: almost everything is on wheels, with three portholes guided around the stage by the actors to become anything from bunks to lifts. It’s a conceit an audience can quickly settle into.

Director Jack Lowe has a strong underlying piece that is sure to be refined as the run continues; proof that we never get anywhere good without taking a few risks.

Pioneer continues nightly at the Norwich Playhouse until Wednesday.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Norwich Evening News visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Norwich Evening News staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Norwich Evening News account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now





Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine