Emma & PJ




The middle of the ocean. Two people navigate borders, distance, and each other.

Atlantic is a new devised performance that uses an encounter between a woman and a man in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as a framework through which to examine transatlantic politics, nationhood, and migration. It is a classic romance story told through stillness, where two performers navigate space, distance, and each other to find a shared connection.

The piece grew out of our desire to explore a dialogue between our national identities and our embodied reactions to the increasingly polarised state of the world. Drawing on our shared academic backgrounds in international politics, we wanted to create a piece that tackled complex global concerns through a precise and economical performance register rich in visual meaning rather than text. We arrived at a language that mixes clowning with contemporary live art practise, with each performer manipulating sound, stage, and lighting elements in real-time during the performance. The result is a piece that stretches and pressurises space, creating an environment that it at once liminal, live, and playful.

It is about borders and nations, but also about people, our desire to be seen, and to belong. It exists somewhere between thinking and feeling, telling a relatable, accessible story whilst opening up more complex questions about human connection and the politics of distance.

Commissioned by Upstart Theatre and first performed at DARE Festival 2018 at Shoreditch Town Hall, London.