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Adelaide Fringe 2015

Icarus Falling

Scott Wings

Genre: Physical Theatre

Venue: Tuxedo Cat - Cusack Theatre East Village 54 Hyde St Adelaide


Low Down

An imaginative reworking of the classical Greek myth of Icarus and his attempts to free himself from the isolation he shares with his father, Daedalus in their prison tower, which becomes a metaphor of Scott’s emancipation from his own abusive father. Intertwining Greek mythology, physical theatre and psychology, Scott starts us off with Icarus’ struggle in his tower prison, but ends up with his struggle to overcome his own childhood.


The near claustrophobic stage of Tuxedo Cat’s Cusack Theatre did not hinder Scott Wings’ play one bit. The confines of the setting helped capture the constrictions of the difficult relationship between Icarus and his father, Daedalus, while the space grew larger by the physicality of Scott Wings’ performance, utilising every centimetre of the stage and even leaping into the audience to engage them in the play.

When Scott perched one-legged, arms spread wide atop the speaker at the edge of the stage I saw Icarus high above, precariously balanced on the parapet of his prison tower, willing to risk falling to his death. As he weaved his lover’s image in spider web portrait in the corner of his cell, I felt almost palpably his isolation and longing for love. And when Daedalus erased Icarus’ poems I felt tremendous empathy for a son whose father seemed determined to stamp out all hope in his offspring.

Cannily crafted into the mix was performance poetry, a mobile phone savvy King Minos commanding Daedalus to design a labyrinth to house his Minotaur for the sport of human sacrifice, ninjas leaping onto stage, gamers trapped at their consoles avoiding life and hygiene for days at a time, contemporary references to Bon Jovi, Zelda and when Darth Vader appeared to chop off the hand of his son we were at the heart of the play, Scott’s complicated relationship with his own abusive father. Here was a play about depression using Greek myth as a metaphor. The difficulty of Icarus’ lot in life and his decision to defy his father and fly too close to the sun, was this the ultimate act of a rebellious youth who could find no other escape but suicide?

Scott’s script captured the angst sons often have to deal with when they have fathers who have reigned negativity and criticism upon them when they were young. I enjoyed this play on multiple levels, the visually stimulating physical performance which had the profusely sweating Scott flying, bouncing off walls and leaping off stage, the storytelling by a wonderful wordsmith who has intricately woven ancient Greek myth with the contemporary so artfully and the deeper, psychological drama of family relationships and personal struggle with depression and suicide. This is an outstanding piece of theatre I recommend everyone should see.