There’s something undeniably magical about Imaginez Ensemblez’s Take Flight. In the recent Elgin Fringe Festival production, three quirky friends wait to board a flight to their dreams, exploring stories of adventures and dream-catchers. With the incorporation of clowning and aerial silks, Imaginez Ensemblez creates a fantastical circus world where imagination rules.
Fink, played with confidence and clarity by actress Kate Booth, guides the audience on a journey to collect positive thoughts in order to gain momentum that will help the characters move in the direction of their dreams. Her friend Kiki, played with youth exuberance by actress Kathleen Hoil, approaches the journey with more heart and hope than wisdom or logic, raises the spirits of her friends and audience alike. The protagonist of the story however, is the speechless Bumbles, played with quiet elegance by Gabriel Faith Howard, a nervous man holding clinging to his pains, disappointments, and fears. It is up to Bumbles to let go of what weighs him down in order for the friends take off in flight.
Perhaps the only confusing detail of Take Flight is who these characters are to each other. It is alluded to that Kiki represents a part of Bumbles, perhaps his heart or childlike ability to dream; meanwhile Fink functions in a more logical sense, and one wonders if she may represent his mind. Then again, Fink and Kiki may not be manifestations of Bumbles’ functions at all, but the three together maybe represent one person. This metaphorical cloudiness can be distracting from the more fantastic parts of the show, but does not hinder the production majorly.
That may be because (metaphors aside) Take Flight is a visual marvel. All three actors are expert clowns, delighting with downright silly physicality. Their ethereal aerial skills, however, are the real showstopper. All three actors dangle from the silks elegantly as they take turns telling stories of flight and fancy, soaring with hope and dreams. With this balance of beauty and humor, Imaginez Ensemblez has created an hour of theatre of ingenuity and creativity for all ages.