Pilgrims – Oily Rag Theatre

Pilgrims – Oily Rag Theatre

A voyage to another world provides the setting for self disclosure and redemption.


Pilgrims by Claire Kiechel is a contemporary one act play set on an interplanetary voyage. Two strangers find themselves sharing a cabin for a 100 day journey with only themselves for company due to quarantine restrictions on board. A third player, an AI robot, is their only link to the rest of the space ship.


Shannon Gray as the girl and Jabez Retallick as the soldier take the audience through an intense performance as the story of their lives unfolds.  The addition of Kyla Booth as the AI robot/cabin steward alleviates, and at times exacerbates, the tension. Secrets are revealed and their relationship develops through role-playing fantasy games, some of which are very entertaining.  This play requires the audience to concentrate to determine where fantasy ends and reality begins. 


Shannon Gray gives a very exuberant portrayal of a teenager who may not be what she seems.  Jabez Retallick plays an introverted soldier suffering from a previous traumatic experience on the planet they are bound for. Kyla Booth as Jasmine adds some comic as well as sinister elements.  All three are to be commended for their performance.


The set design is simple and stylish.  It shows a great use of fabric and colour as scenery.  The atmospheric sound and lighting was also very good, particularly the airlock doors.


This is a very professional and taut production.  The production team of Kristin Telfer (Director), Shannon Norfolk (Production designer) and Katherine Kleeman (Lighting designer) are to be congratulated on their ingenuity in maximising the resources available.


It is a thought-provoking piece but from a personal point of view I would have loved more aliens and less angst – but that wasn’t the focus of the play.

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