Lone Flyer

The Jermyn Street Theatre continues its Footprints Festival with Lucy Betts’ acclaimed production of Ade Morris’s Lone Flyer, which was first staged at The Watermill Theatre last October.

informative storyline, solid performances and imaginative staging

Hannah Edwards gives a confident, and cheekily endearing performance as she relates the life of pioneer aviatrix Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. The various jobs she had as she tried to pursue her ambition and the relationships that influenced her life, be they with her father, her various employers, her instructors, admirers, lovers and her husband, loom large as she navigates her way through opportunities and setbacks. With great versatility Benedict Salter takes on all the other parts displaying his ability to create an array of characters through voice and demeanour and also to hauntingly play the cello, not only to repeat the tune of the play's adopted song but also to give sound effects for the planes.

Both actors are aided considerably by Isobel Nicolson’s set design and costumes by Emily Barratt. The set is created by use of a large number of period suitcases, in various colours and sizes, some closed to provide levels for walking up and down and sitting on, others open to contain various costumes and props, of which there are many. Johnson’s classic aviator hat and her leather and sheepskin jacket are donned for numerous flights, but she has an array of other costumes that denote various social settings. Salter similarly has an outfit for every character and the stage design allows this substantial wardrobe to be discreetly contained within it.

A major feature of the set is a large trolley that forms the plane and is swirled around in various scenes to give the effect of flight and turbulence. Impressive sound design by Jamie Kubisch Wiles and Thom Townsend and lighting by Harry Armytage contribute enormously to the changing settings, events and moods in the play. Each of these creatives, along with choreographer Hannah Edwards, has done a finely tuned job and their individual efforts blend harmoniously and supportively together.

Director Lucy Betts has given pace to the production by wasting no time in seamlessly transitioning from one scene to the next, with dialogue or narrative continuing through changes of costume and location. She has valiantly tried to bring coherence to a script that makes many jumps and crucially fails to bring clarity as to which of Johnson's various flights is being portrayed at any given time.

An informative storyline, solid performances and imaginative staging make for delightful, if not earth-shattering, entertainment.

Reviews by Richard Beck

Brockley Jack Theatre

Trestle

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

Watson: The Final Problem

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

The Sensemaker

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

Diary of an Expat

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Amy Johnson has a dream, but just how far will her dream take her? As the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, Amy’s career reached new heights, but the outbreak of the Second World War changes everything, and she faces her greatest challenge yet. Escaping one life and aiming for the stars, Amy comes from humble beginnings to become one of Britain’s legendary aviators. A powerful play about an inspirational woman.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Prince of Egypt

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets