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Fringe Review: If I Die on Mars @theSpace – Venue 45


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Through some outstanding acting, thought-provoking dialogue and a fascinating way of playing with random objects and lighting, 'If I die on Mars' successfully displayed several different angles about the one-way mission to Mars – some that otherwise maybe would have hardly been thought about by many.

Image courtesy of If I Die on Mars / Queen Mary Theatre Company

At the start, the audience gets introduced to the different characters selected to potentially partake in the Mars mission. Through a playful way, we learn about their quirks, dreams and aspirations. We learn why precisely these people applied for this mission in the first place. The actors of Queen Mary Theatre Company fully engage in the history of their characters – emotions clearly shown in their expression and words. There was no holding back with issues such as love and sex - or rather, the lack of such once in space - being addressed in a fun manner.

The play never has more than five characters. A change in the scene is simple, yet brilliantly achieved through a change in choreography and lighting. The room darkened, torches swinging around, dreamy music played, all always perfectly matching the scene currently portrayed. Later, a spaceship is simulated out if a set of chairs.

Different angles - including fear of death, the emotional turmoil of loved ones, the thoughts of the general public, the critics of the mission and the final breakdown of the mission - were all addressed throughout.

When leaving the performance, the questions asked throughout remain prevalent:  If I die on Mars, will you remember? Did it take ten people dying to then make Apollo 11 successful?  Would it all be worth it? Was the idea ever feasible? Do we have better options?

Maybe this play does not answer all these questions, but within the 45-minute performance, we are brought closer to the many different aspects that are linked to the planning of the mission and that not all can be seen from one angle only.

The play is most definitely worth a watch for fans and critics of the actual mission to space alike and will likely make you ask some questions you never considered before.

If I Die on Mars was performed by the Queen Mary Theatre Company until August 24th and more information can be found on their Twitter account here.

Lead image courtesy of If I Die on Mars / Queen Mary Theatre Company

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