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The Astronaut

The Astronaut


“This is what I remember
My heart squeezing shut and this place –
The lonely life of a
lost lander”

Enter the wreckage of Gwen, who for twenty-something years has not ventured outside. She is a shut-in. Driven indoors by her grief and fear of human contact she has surrounded herself with the things that provide her comfort – Elvis Presley songs and her collection of jigsaw puzzles. She is obsessed with the 1969 moon landing and watches it over and over again as a signpost of hope and possibility. Gwen is stuck in time, chased by the ghosts of her past until an inevitable calling arrives. This solo physical theatre piece celebrates the courage of the human spirit and its capacity to change. The work is collaboration between Samantha Chester and Frances Barbe, inspired by Samuel Beckett and Chester’s background in dance and devised physical theatre.


The Astronaut an intimate tale that looks at the choices we make and the seemingly impossible act of letting go.

PREVIEW 21 June 2016
OPENING 23 June – 9 July 2016
DURATION 50 mins
For more information go to
Check out the Astronaut Facebook page


Concept & Performer: Samantha Chester
Director Frances Barbe
Lighting and Vision Designer Matthew Osborne
Composer Ekrem Mülayim
Designer Isabel O’Neill
DramaturgeJulie-Anne Long
Publicist Alison Welburn
Stage Manager and Collabrator Tim Green
Image: Jessica Russell


“The Blue Room’s small black studio space is effectively transformed with Matthew Osborne’s superb visual projections and lighting design.”

POST Newspaper

“As a third and fourth layer to this experience, we have the lovely lighting and visual design by Matthew Osborne and a complex musical composition by Ekrem Mulayim; they complete setting, reflect mood, and create metaphor. Without these elements Chester’s actions would be less meaningful, and we’d have a much harder time understanding her character’s solitary existence. This world simply wouldn’t exist without those elements.”

Perth Arts Live

“Having such a dark and focused set is actually very beguiling, as every set piece and movement by the performer is easily highlighted and even the smallest details can be picked up by the audience. The projections and compositions are beautifully crafted and this is one show that the skills of the stage manager are particularly apparent, as every light, sound and visual cue seem perfectly timed and executed.”


“I have never seen the Blue Room’s minimalist spaces used more effectively. Matthew Osborne’s lighting and vision design is sometimes breathtaking, and Chester and Barbe work within it faultlessly.”

The West Australian



Posted on

July 8, 2016

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