(Mark Fisher’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/8; Photo: Fairy glow … Ghost Light was filmed at Edinburgh’s Festival theatre. Photograph: Peter Dibdin.)
Hope Dickson Leach’s magical, flickering film of past and postponed works is a dazzling theatrical relay race
The test of a good production of Peter Pan is the scene where the audience bring Tinkerbell back to life. For her to survive, we have to prove that we believe in fairies. When a show gets it right, the audience make magic happen. Reviving the little ball of light requires the same leap of faith we take on every trip to the theatre. Its effect can be joyous and devastating.
By kicking off her exquisite film with an extract from JM Barrie’s classic, Hope Dickson Leach finds the perfect metaphor for a theatre forced to go dark by Covid-19. Filmed backstage for the National Theatre of Scotland, Ghost Light treats the company’s repertoire like the glow of a fairy: flickering, transitory, written on the wind.