FRINGE 2020: Passengers – RCC – 4K

What happens when a mind tries to protect itself from the horrors it’s seen and endured? The answer – sometimes – is the subject of Passengers, an experimental physical theatre piece from UK-based company Vacuum Theatre.

Max wants to tell you his story. And so we hear it – through three of his personalities, each with their own nuances, dreams, and goals. Max has multiple personality disorder, stemmed from a childhood trauma, and each of his personalities seeks to tell his story as they see it – or, in some cases, wish it to be. We have his angry, destructive side that aims to distract and numb Max; his critical, pragmatic side that seeks to keep him safe; and his imaginative dreamer side, that’s optimistic for a life of something more.

Vacuum Theatre have put together a unique, engaging theatre experience. Our three protagonists duck and weave their way through their prison-like structure, aiming to tell Max’s story in as cohesive a way as possible. The way the personalities ultimately work together, despite friction, to protect Max is a clever way of demonstrating the core of the development of multiple selves. Excerpts of interviews provide extra weight to the story, providing real-life confirmation of what we’ve just witnessed on stage. Each actor provides realism to their respective personality, and each actor is faultless, drawing the audience in with every line.

There are moments where the story could have been snappier, but overall this was an excellent piece of theatre on a topic that deserves attention and consideration far greater than it’s often given.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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