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'Exhilarating' On the High Road to Premiere at the Southbank Centre

ViewZine Admin
'Exhilarating' On the High Road to Premiere at the Southbank Centre

“We have always been fascinated by how the spaces we inhabit affect how we relate to each other, how we move and feel. In On The High Road we wanted to explore the relationships between patterns of movement and these spaces, within our own bodies, our homes, families, cities, and continents. We wanted to squeeze it all within a small white structure on the stage.” - Suzy Willson

Following on from the successful 2018 Placebo tour, Clod Ensemble will premiere On The High Road at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall this April, before it embarks on a UK tour.

A disparate group of people find themselves caught in a terrible storm On The High Road. Whether old or young, pilgrim or party-goer, they must all seek refuge under the same roof. As the night draws in, they dream, pray, dance, party and fight – waiting for the dawn to come. At once dance, theatre and gig – On The High Road’s turbulent blend of movement and music defies categorisation.

This highly anticipated new production by Clod Ensemble, is a gripping, vivid piece of theatre which combines a stark monochrome design, kaleidoscopic movement and exhilarating music. The central image feels especially relevant in a world in which difference and intolerance, displacement, refuge and climate change are omnipresent, and we must work out how to live together.

Following its run at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall (24-25 April), the production will tour to CAST, Doncaster (8 May), New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth (15-16 May) and Oxford Playhouse (20-21 May). Directed by Suzy Willson, a dynamic company of outstanding dancers, actors and singers warp time and perspective to create an epic moving sculpture. We watch human beings as if under a microscope, attempting to share space within their homes, cities, states and continents.

Paul Clark’s original score counterpoints wind howls, downpours and thunderclaps with the brilliance of the human voice. Twisted classical textures stumble into drunken bar-room pianos, and mournful songs build to pulsating clubby rhythms. Featuring live performances from Irish folk singer Thomas McCarthy (Gradam Ceoil TG4’s Singer of the Year 2019), acclaimed soprano Melanie Pappenheim and renowned cabaret singer George Heyworth, one half of Bourgeois & Maurice, the production will offer a true gig experience.

Clod Ensemble will also curate a series of original, thought-provoking talks and workshops that explore the impact of the built environment on contemporary life, drawing upon the production’s themes of space and architecture. Taking place at venues which include the Royal Academy of Arts (16 March 2019) and Tate Modern (June), these events will encourage audiences to contemplate the social, artistic, scientific and philosophical ideas behind the production. The programme will examine how we inhabit, occupy and negotiate space within our bodies, our homes, our places of work and our mental and physical states, our countries and continents. For more information and to book tickets, please visit

On The High Road is supported by New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. Clod Ensemble is supported by Arts Council England & the Wellcome Trust.

24-25 April, 2019

Ticket Office: 020 3879 9555