Walk The Plank, S.W.A.L.K.

Review in Issue 15-2 | Summer 2003

Walk The Plank's new middle-scale outdoor show is directed by Mark Murphy (V-TOL dance) and features his trademark use of choreographed live action mixed with film. The set is a long stage with two large screens and a tower at each end. The towers are reached by walkways which cut diagonally across each screen allowing the two performers to walk in front.

The story features a woman who becomes attracted to a man she sees in the street and then sends him letters. He is married and reluctant to respond to her. It eventually becomes apparent that she is stalking him.

The way the narrative unfolds betrays the director's roots in contemporary dance. The use of repeat sections gives the show the musical quality of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, with each repetition adding to your knowledge. The film mirrors the performance, adds counterpoint and occasionally expands the emotional impact of the scene by including close-up and location filming. Pyrotechnics, lighting and film edits punctuate the driving soundtrack, giving it a cinematic quality. Especially impressive was the contemporary feel of the show – and the use of performers who were not trendy young things.

This was an extremely dynamic and exciting performance. The beginning in particular grabbed your attention. It can be difficult and unfair to review big outdoor shows on their first outing, as they need time and constant exposure to audiences to develop – but this one arrived almost fully formed; any necessary tweaking will strengthen what is already a strong piece of work.

Presenting Artists

Cathedral Gardens

Date Seen
  1. May 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-2
p. 29