Going Dark (Plymouth)
Played in the round in a draped auditorium with many moments of complete darkness or projections of the night sky on the ceiling, this is a dual tale: of a journey through space, and the journey into blindness.
John Mackay plays the passionate narrator at the local planetarium who has been diagnosed with retinis pigmentosa, in a captivating single-handed performance lecturing on the night sky, dealing with his deteriorating condition, handling his devastated parents and being dad to six-year-old son.
His understanding of the greater universe is starkly contrasted with his desperate need to re-evaluate his immediate world. And who can forget the attempt to make a packed lunch blindfolded and to the rhythm of ‘Green Onions’?
With superb surround sound by BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award holder Dan Jones varying from the delightful playing, ramblings and questioning of a six-year-old through the harsh cacophony of the city streets to the intense minutiae of the sounds of a rainy afternoon, the experience is intensified by being plunged into claustrophobic pitch black.
An interesting, very human piece which can only skim the surface of the condition but which is undoubtedly thought-provoking.