Having just this moment stepped out of the first performance of 17 Border Crossings, I feel as though I have traveled much further in this evening than from The Aldridge Studio where the play is held, back to the office where I now write this post.
The performance brilliantly flies you across the globe and paints a picture so vividly of the far flung destinations, that if you haven’t already been you will feel like you have by the time you leave the theatre. Thaddeus Phillips makes quite incredible use of the minimalistic props with him on the stage, in almost MacGyver-esque fashion transforming only the equipment you’d find on an average office desk into a plane, train and number of different automobiles.
The Studio is one of The Lowry’s most intimate theatres, and it works fantastically well in a production such as this to submerse the audience in the world that Phillips creates with his engaging stories and characters.
You feel close to the action and at times as though the performance is aimed directly towards you – a more perfect setting for this performance could not be conceived.
“It was an entirely original concept”, one of my fellow audience members told me after the show, “not a single boring minute in it”. A sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.
Becoming invested in the story and the people that you see appear out of only the words from the actors mouth, you find yourself wanting more and more.
“It was a tour de force, an incredible solo performance!”
“I really enjoyed it, it all came together so well – a brilliant show!”
Week 53 is all about space; in both our relationship with it, and in our exploration of it with the performance areas used throughout the festival. 17 Border Crossings is a show that explores our relationship with our own place in the world, as well the contrasts and similarities with other countries.
Two of the people I spoke to after the show explained that they were politics students at Salford University, and the show struck a particular resonance with them, “it’s politics theatre that’s more accessible than classical theatre. It’s modern and fun, but also makes you think – and it’s informative too!”.
The show has one more performance on Wednesday the 4th May, at 20:00 – I recommend that you come and strap in to a seat in the Aldridge Studio, as 17 Border Crossings takes you around the world on a journey you won’t forget.