Hinterland on Stage 

Hinterland, adapted for the stage as Flight by the Glasgow-based theatre company Vox Motus, is currently on international tour, having transferred from the Edinburgh International Festival to Galway, Ireland and Melbourne, Australia, after an extended run in New York City. It is now showing for the first time in England at the Brighton Festival (4-22 May, 2019).

Scroll down to the end for what the critics said.

Hinterland Book Cover
It is night, and two boys are crossing a river that is also a border. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs, their inheritance stitched into the lining of a belt, and the courage of an enormous gamble: that they will find, on the other side, the future they can no longer wait for in Afghanistan.

Whether trapped in Greece, lost in Italy or imagining England whilst huddled in the sand dunes in France, the boys take risks they cannot estimate with strangers they shouldn’t trust. 

Hinterland is a novel about the consequences of war; about love, courage, and how far two boys will go to fight for their lives.




The book’s emotional heart is the relationship between the brothers – Aryan forced to assume the role of a parent, Kabir exiled so long that he can’t remember the face of his dead mother. Brothers’ elegant prose holds sentimentality at bay, complementing some impressive reportage.
-- Adrian Turpin, The Financial Times

Brothers has the seasoned journalist’s eye for the idiosyncratic detail and a sense for the riveting turnabouts that keep readers as off balance as her characters.
-- Jan Stuart, The New York Times

Though it has the shape and power of documentary and the documentary-maker’s passionate engagement with her subject matter, what most distinguishes this book is the poetic power of the language. The landscape, the weather, the natural world and physical sensations are described with a shocking painterly intensity ... There is poetry on every page, as well as pity, and the poetry is not always in the pity but in the joy of being alive on this earth.
-- Siobhán Parkinson, The Irish Times


The emotional as well as geographical borderlands are sensitively delineated in this visceral and moving debut: those at which love tips into hate, tenderness into brutality, hope into despair. The author details the forbidding landscapes through which the orphans travel, and subtly explores treacherous psychological terrain.
-- Anita Sethi, The Independent

A book that haunts and shames in equal measure. 
-- Catherine TaylorThe Guardian

[This book] brings home the terrible human consequences of war. Caroline Brothers's stark, unsentimental novel is one everyone should read.
-- John Harding, The Daily Mail

A sparse prose poem on the subject of trespass in all its forms. It is a timely debut which pulls no punches in its ending, but one which nonetheless offers touching moments. From the occasional kindness of strangers to the deep strength Ayran and Kabir find within each other, Hinterland is a celebration of the human spirit.
-- Val Nolan, The Irish Examiner 


Hinterland Book Cover

A hard-hitting debut.
-- Emma Hagedtstadt, The Independent

Brothers catches one droplet from the great wave and invites us to look.
-- Margie Thompson, NZ Herald

This compelling new novel ... will open your eyes and break your heart.
-- Pam Houston, More Magazine

Brothers has created almost unbearably vulnerable characters in Aryan and Kabir, who are utterly believable. With superb skill, she details the almost insurmountable difficulties of their journey.
-- Independent on Sunday

Brothers shines a powerful light on the shadowy world of cross-border refugees in this compelling and empathetic account of two children seeking a chance at life a long way from home.
-- The Library Journal

A compassionate and vigorous tale ... the cinematic scope given to their journey underscores its immense undertaking.
-- Publishers' Weekly


There were occasions where i simply had to put this book down and hug my own child before continuing.
-- Chris Gordon, Readings 


Books like this change hearts and ideas.
-- Bookbag

If it had been written in Sanskrit I would have taken lessons in order to read it.
-- Suzanne O’Connor

Hinterland belongs in a group with Little Bee and the Blue Notebook in how it points out the plight of children in unfamiliar parts of the world, but it also stands as a great, suspenseful read, one of those universal stories of tremendous courage against insurmountable odds that speaks to something fundamental in all of us; and I, for one, will never be the same after spending the weekend in the Hinterland.
-- Annie Leonard, The Next Chapter

A scene from Flight (Vox Motus)

Puts the humanity back into our news cycle.
-- Vince Chadwick

Impossible to put down, Hinterland will leave you in emotional turmoil but also wiser, and more compassionate to the stark truths our comfortable lives shelter us from.
-- Easyvoyage.co.uk

A beautiful story that really makes you question your thoughts and feelings on this matter and makes you realise that sadly this is real, it is actually happening out there and we too often turn our heads the other way. 10/10 is my vote on this book.
-- Mari's World


Other impacts

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi in The New Statesman


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Hinterland becomes Flight

A scene from Flight (Vox Motus)


'Sweet, confronting and heartbreaking.'
SM Monteith, Overland


'Flight, a celebration that deserves to be celebrated, soars to dizzy heights.'
Gully Thompson, Witness Performance


'Utterly gripping and immersive... the festival's unmissable show to date... beautiful, imaginative and visceral storytelling.'
Rosita Boland, The Irish Times


Profoundly imaginative... Unforgettable in both content and form, a devastating concatenation of dreams and nightmares on the run.
The New Yorker

Pulse-pounding, immersive storytelling, strange and exquisite and intensely affecting.... Adapted by Oliver Emanuel from Caroline Brothers’s novel Hinterland, ... the directors have created a world in miniature inches from our own eyes that allows us, somehow, a straight line into all of its fear and danger and battered resilience.
* New York Times Critics Pick *
 Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times

Based on Caroline Brothers's page-turner of a novel, Hinterland,... Scotland-based theater company Vox Motus puts us in [its protagonists'] shoes with Flight, a theatrical installation that is both ingeniously rendered and heartfelt. 
 Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

At a time when immigrants – legal and otherwise – are being demonized in certain sectors, this is a valuable and often powerful reminder that we are all in this together, and that a more just world is ours for the making, if we only we can summon the will to do so.
– David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America

'Flight' is a rare night of brilliance.
– Regina Weinreich, Showbiz411

Flight is an emotional and powerful work of art that invites the audience into its poignant story of human courage. [A] unique and transporting experience.
– Broadway World

Instead of focusing on policy or politicians, it focuses on two boys whose journey is as much timeless as it is modern. Their Odyssean travels across Europe entail encounters both good and bad. They meet monsters as well as friends, move forward and experience setbacks. Behind the numbers, behind speeches and network news outrage, migration is depicted as a human issue.
– Jacob Horn, CurtainUp

 Through unexpected and evocative storytelling, Flight manages to humanize the nameless hordes of refugees we read about in the media every day... A captivating, one-of-a-kind experience.
– Raven Snook, WhatWeShouldDo.com

[Flight] melds art, theater, and literature into something wholly new. The gripping story, which unfolds over about sixty tense minutes, was adapted by Oliver Emanuel from Australian journalist Caroline Brothers’s 2012 debut novel, Hinterland....  Don’t hesitate to get on board.
– This Week In NewYork


Flight is extraordinary. Paradoxical. An epic in miniature. A story that compels its audience towards strong feeling but keeps spectators at a distance. A peepshow that expands your eyes.
 Susannah Clapp, The Observer

The poignant beauty of the tiny puppets, and the sheer imaginative vividness of the world they inhabit, engraves this exquisite show on the memory, shaming the very idea of a “refugee threat” with its profound sense of the vulnerability of those small travellers. Theatre, installation art, or something else entirely, Flight tells its tale with a passion reflected in every detail of its tiny artworks; and with all the care and tenderness for which Aryan and Kabir long, but which they are so brutally denied, almost to the last.
– Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

I was impressed by this production’s exquisite detail, which enables it to capture even the different textures of the light in Greece and Italy, and its experimental daring.
– Michael Billington, The Guardian

I only realised how involved I’d been when an assistant tapped me on the shoulder and led me blinking into the light.
Griselda Murray Brown, Financial Times


A scene from Flight (© Mihaela Bodlovic)


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