‘Are We There Yet?’ — Final Reflections and Marisa Carnesky’s Ghost Train
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In November 2010 we took a short train ride together from our historic, university town of Lancaster to the neighbouring seaside resort of Blackpool. Taking the Blackpool train we were destined for another train: performance artist/burlesque performer Marisa Carnesky’s Ghost Train.1 Billed as a ‘quirky arthouse funfair ride’, for this show Carnesky and her design team constructed a fairground ghost train, but one to house live theatre acts. The conceit of the show is a journey to a ‘nowhere’: a place in between worlds. This is framed by a speech given in the carefully realised ‘retro’ station waiting room where a ‘mother’ explains that she is striving to keep alive the memory of ‘daughters’ who, in an attempt to keep safe from the encroachments of a terrible war, left their town, boarded a train one night and vanished never to be seen again. The subsequent ten-minute show/ride is a mix of ghost-train conventions and live female apparitions achieved by a combination of traditional theatrical illusions and digital technology. Accompanied by a border guard, the passengers are seated in the carriages and jolted along the sharply twisting, turning track; are plunged into dizzying and disorientating darkness broken up by beautiful, surreal and unsettling tableaux, all the more disquieting for only being glimpsed.
KeywordsBorder Crossing Final Reflection Border Guard Live Theatre British Working Class
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