Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I'm thinking about risk today as, yesterday, I saw "The Highest Step in the World" at Gateway Theatre. The theme was said to be "risk" and, while I enjoyed it, I'm not so sure that came across as the main idea. The centre story was about Captain Joseph Kittinger and Project Excelsior but it also told the story of Icarus and the air stewardess who survived a plane crash with a long fall- Vesna Vulovic. The staging was very well done - I enjoyed all the  projected visual effects and the actual "flight" out over the audience. The acting was very good too. Mainly, it was the story.   I question whether Icarus - although interestingly portrayed as a bit of a young punk- belonged in a "real" story, since that is a myth. And, if we were to have him in the story - the grief of the father was a touching bit- there should have been, in my opinion more made of *why* he flew too high. Then we have Vesna, whose story has since been discredited by Guinness. (Not that it is *her* story since she has no memory of the crash- it may have been Soviet propaganda.)  However, even if it was really that high a fall, it was an accident and not planned. It was interesting how the incident made her a "heroine" -- a role she felt she did not deserve .  Instead, I would have liked to have more made of the motivation behind Kittinger's decision to take part in three parachute falls, especially to continue with the third when the compression glove on his right had failed. In fact- maybe I missed something- but I wasn't sure it was the third flight until I looked him up. I also wanted to know more about how his hand was- hands being a bit of an obsession with artists! Anyway, it was an interesting play and it did provoke some thinking about it afterward. I've also been thinking about more "risk" in art - as in -"why the heck not try this..."  Friday, we had a model and I decided to really push the colours. It seemed extreme and risky at the time, but the results, as seen above, don't seem that far out. So, I think more "risk" is what I'll be pursuing for the next while.

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