Flights of fancy: When art meets science

A new song-cycle explores an important Australian invention, the now ubiquitous black box flight recorder.

‘All art should be about using history as a lens to talk about now,’ said playwright Alana Valentine.

In the case of Flight Memory, a new song cycle co-written by Valentine and composer Sandra France, and commissioned by The Street Theatre, the production is an opportunity to explore the Australian cultural cringe by telling the story of scientist David Warren, the inventor of the now ubiquitous black box flight recorder.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts