After a month of continuous rehearsal and much more besides On Edge is about to launch into its’ exciting summer tour.
The last two weeks of rehearsals have taken place in the Drill Hall in the seaside town of Great Yarmouth. Several sounds form a beautiful harmony in the room; the clattering of scaffolding, the smooth running of a sewing machine and Quentin Lachapelle’s handcrafted soundtrack all blend together beautifully. There is an exciting pulsating of energy and activity as the seagulls cry out over us. I am now watching the fourth run of the show. The cast, the storyline and the fluidity of the show are now all running smoothly like a well-oiled machine.
The journey getting to this point has been hard and long. The cast are a mixture of parkour athletes, performers and physical theatre actors. This mixture causes a struggle between the phsyical and the metaphorical, between creativity and practicality. On all sides there has been a beautiful teaching that is also learning and a learning that is also teaching. Both actors and athletes have needed to demonstrate humility and a willingness to learn which in one way is what makes this project so beautiful. Everyone has needed to demonstrate a vulnerability and an acceptance of not knowing everything. Ego is taken out of the equation and a beautiful community that encourages, teaches and that resists judgement is formed.
George Mayfield, one of the On Edge team explains, “I have felt through this whole process that this is all that you need in life. We’ve got a focus as a group which is creating this piece… we’re all living as community, we’re always around people, we’re being creative, we’re being physical… those are all the things you need in life. If you’ve got purpose and you’ve got community and you’re feeling healthy in yourself then life’s amazing.”
As the piece tackles the issue of modern slavery within the construction industry, we are confronted by a very different, selfish side of humanity, a side in which inequality is emphasised, in which individuals are silenced and money is king. The sharp contrast between the two worlds is the real strength of this piece. If it was possible to foster an atmosphere of support, community, encouragement and hard work on a global scale, would there be a culture of slavery? Would there be a desire for slavery? Would there be a need for slavery?
The On Edge Tour begins in Brighton on the 11th May 2019
Written by Johnny Steinegger, Justice in Motion Intern