An afternoon with aerial director Gwen Hales reveals the dedication and expertise this stage show requires for its magical effects

Just before lift-off, I’m asked if I’ve ever done anything like this before. Following a nervous shake of my head, the news is broken that it “might feel quite unnatural”, but that we would be taking it slow. “Are you ready?” aerial director Gwen Hales asks.

Soon I can feel empty space beneath my feet. Even though I am not afraid of heights, I’m suddenly very aware that I am dangling mid-air. This flying lesson feels more secure than I’d imagined but my heart still starts to beat faster. “A lot of people do have a very physical reaction, a bit like a panic attack, when they are taken up,” says Hales.

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