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EdFringe 2018 Review: Queen of the Air

Queen of the Air
Rating: ★★

Venue: theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall


Queen of the Air celebrates Amelia Earhart's achievements as one of the premier female pilots. This project from Yorkshire based Plush Tiger Productions sees Lucy Connor step into the role of the iconic aviatrix, yet, this production fails to tap into the excitement of Earhart's achievements, instead feeling dry and forgettable.

Set in the cramped cockpit of Earhart's plane, the pilot communicates with her control centre as she becomes lost and increasingly anxious. Within this setting she reflects back on her life and achievements, striving in a male-dominated world. Queen of the Air is directed by Justine Green and written by Clara-Nel Haddon.

Queen of the Air paints Earhart with a stereotypical 1930's gumption, she's bright eyed and oh so eager to succeed. She speaks with a somewhat hammy turn of phrase and over-enthusiasm about near every subject. Whilst this depiction works in capturing Earhart's plucky spirit, it does not necessarily make for a particularly convincing depiction of the pilot - despite Connor's best efforts. Her Kansas-twang (with flecks of Yorkshire) narrates key moments from Earhart's early life to her final journey in 1937 in a somewhat cluttered fashion.

The one-woman play is crafted in a somewhat jumbled manner, cutting between Earhart on her final flight and sporadic moments from throughout her career means that Queen of the Air has a somewhat bitty structure that never gains much dramatic momentum. Whilst there are well-intentioned moments exploring Earhart's achievements in a male-dominated field, there is not enough development to feel like it is simply paying anything more than lip service to these moments. Audio excerpts of Earhart does give the play some gravitas whilst reinforcing Earhart's very real professional achievements.


Theatre Review 4778092386552308363
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