Review: Tour de force at Warwick Arts Centre

Grounded. Picture by Iona Firouzabadi
Grounded. Picture by Iona Firouzabadi

Grounded by George Brant at Warwick Arts Centre until Friday.

Running time 1 hour 5 mins.

In an air-conditioned trailer in the desert near Las Vegas, The Pilot is fighting a war 8000 miles away.

George Brant’s play, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival last year, cleverly works the growing concerns over America’s drone wars into the highly personalised story of a young woman trying to be wife, mother and killer all at once.

As the pilot of a drone, delivering death from out of the blue to the bad guys, she is in no danger. She is perfectly safe, which is just as well as she has a young daughter who means the world to her.

But she can’t help missing the combat adrenalin rush of the F16 fighter she used to fly before pregnancy grounded her.

She’s gone from Top Gun to the ‘chairforce.’ And it hurts.

With Lucy Ellinson as The Pilot, Brant has found a startling performer, pacing the confines of her life like a caged beast as she begins to question her role at the business end of a firing button, watching her targets as they scuttle below like ants, one and a half seconds from death at her fingertips. It is a terrific performance, a real tour de force and not to be missed.

Rating; 9/10.

Peter Walters.