Dates and Venue 10 - 26 October 2013, 8pm (1 pm on Oct 15, Oct 17 & Oct 23, 2pm on Oct 12) | Gateway Theatre Mainstage, 6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond
Reviewer Ed Farolan
I don't normally like going to one-man shows, but out of curiosity, I came to this one. I wasn't disappointed. What kept me interested was how David van Belle coordinated with the riggers (Adrian Young and Chris MacPherson) as he did his acrobatics simulating a 100,000 ft jump from a weather balloon.
Inspired by the true story of test pilot Joseph Kittinger's historic feat, co-Artistic Directors Eric Rose (Director) and Van Belle have written a story about Kittinger and three other characters who, voluntarily or not, have stepped into space. This is a story of fear and fearlessness, ingeniously told. In fact, Gateway's Artistic Director Jovanni Sy in his programme notes says, "I wanted The Highest Step in the World to launch my first season because I feel theatre itself is an audacious medium."
And I commend Gateway and Sy for launching this show because indeed, theatre is supposed to be audacious. Theatre has come a long especially now when we have computers handling the technical effects. Techno-theatre with all its gadgets seems to be the in-thing these days. The use of videos flashed on a white tarp in the background, and how Belle changes to different outfits again through the magic of costumes flashed onto his white overalls--the wonders of contemporary theatre!
But of course, the audience wanted to see the Peter Pan flying maneuvers, and they left the theatre feeling it was worth it.
© 2013 Ed Farolan