Review: Grounded

Lucy Ellinson as the Pilot in Grounded. Pic: Iona Firouzabadi.

Lucy Ellinson as the Pilot in Grounded. Pic: Iona Firouzabadi. - Credit: Iona Firouzabadi

From even before she starts speaking, Lucy Ellinson captures your attention in this impressive solo performance.

She started her hour alone on stage as the Norwich Playhouse audience gathered, stood mannequin like in a dimly-lit box, her fighter pilot flight suit the only clue to the combative story that is about to unfold.

In a largely unbroken monologue Ellinson tells the story of a gung-ho pilot who accidentally becomes pregnant, ending her flight career. She is redeployed to a base outside of Las Vegas, but rather than facing bright lights and brash colours her days are filled with the pixellated grey of drone screen footage.

The tedium of her long days is punctuated by oddly joyous, disconnected, occasional kills –administratively executing the 'guilty'. These are contrasted with her home life with her daughter and new husband. George Brant's story brings the two worlds together in an intriguing but not entirely convincing denouement.

Tom Gibbon's sound is spot on; Oliver Townsend's design tries a little too hard.

It is Ellinson's careful, controlled, central performance that makes this worth watching.

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