A narrative song cycle celebrating Australia’s imaginative and creative people and the country’s remarkable scientific achievements, Flight Memory is a contemporary vocal performance of original compositions, theatrically staged, weaving innovation and improvisation with sassy jazz fusion to meditate on the journey of David Warren – inventor of the now ubiquitous black box aircraft flight recorder.
Warren and his amazing invention challenged the belief that ‘everything good would get invented somewhere else’. Flight Memory will transport you into the mind of a creative genius, into the shock of a world in mourning and ultimately to those with responsibility to prevent future tragedies by listening to the recorded voices of the dead.
Commissioned by The Street Theatre, this remarkable new work pairs ARIA-nominated composer Sandra France (From a Black Sky) with Helpmann award winning lyricist and playwright Alana Valentine (Barbara and the Camp Dogs, Letters to Lindy, Parramatta Girls).
Directed by acclaimed opera director Caroline Stacey (The Weight of Light, Susannah, Madame Butterfly, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris), the cast features multi-award winning performers Michelle Nicolle, Liam Budge and Leisa Keen supported by a six-piece ensemble of Canberra’s finest musicians including Jess Green and Brendan Clarke.
“Part requiem, part cheeky finger in the air to our relentless cultural cringe, ultimately this is a work which brings science and art together transporting its audience into the mystery of human endeavour, and a celebration of original Australian cultural expression,” says Caroline Stacey.
Seeded in Australia’s capital, Flight Memory has been in the making since 2015. An ANZC Centenary Art and Culture Fund recipient, The Street applied for support for a nationally significant cultural project to commission renowned female writers and composers to collaborate on the making of a new creative work that would champion Australia’s innovation and contribution to the well-being of the world.
Working with Defence Science and Technology to research and develop, Flight Memory has been inspired by the mechanics of invention, the pain of parochialism, the unconscious grind of childhood grief and the elation of hard-won success.
Director: Caroline Stacey Featuring: Liam Budge, Leisa Keen, Michelle Nicolle Musicians: Brendan Clarke, Tom Fell, Gary France, Jess Green, Ben Marston Music Director: Sandra France Set and Costume Design: Imogen Keen Lighting Design: Nik Pajanti Sound Design: Kimmo Vennonen
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, Canberra City West
Season: 14 – 17 November 2019
Information and Bookings: www.thestreet.org.au
Image: Flight Memory – courtesy of The Street Theatre