Preview: Mile End, Southwark Playhouse, London
Journeys end in a fateful and tragic collision
Wednesday 06 February 2008
The devised show Mile End is based on the true story of the commuter Christophe Duclos, who was pushed in front of a train at Mile End station in 2002 by Stephen Soans-Wade, a man with a history of mental illness.
The production is by the Surrey-based company Analogue, whose cinematic approach on stage won them the Fringe First and the Arched Brick award in Edinburgh last year.
Mile End is directed by Analogue's co-founders Hannah Barker and Liam Jarvis, who also perform in it. "We saw a brutal image on the front page of a newspaper in 2002 that captured on camera the commuter being pushed in front of a Tube train. This play charts the two people's journeys to the fateful end. It was rush hour when Soans-Wade fixed his eye on Duclos, and he could have chosen anybody else on the platform to push."
Founded in 2003, Analogue combine performance, music and film. Their main writer is Dan Rebellato. Their next show is based on an image of a telephone box on a cliff next to a Samaritans sign. A third show is based on an image of the Tay Bridge disaster and press articles about the Clapham rail disaster, "to form a trilogy of ethics".
Mile End has been "three years in the making," says Barker, who plays Kate, the wife of the victim. "Alex [Sam Taylor] is coming out of a difficult patch with his wife and having prophetic dreams. The loner Michael [Jarvis] can be seen at home having a mental breakdown. But it is done in such a way that the audience believe his reality."
Other collaborators include the graphic effects artists Thor Hayton and the RSC/BBC Radio 4 composer Simon Slater.
The company also bring Mile End to life stylistically by using techniques inspired by Japanese bunraku puppetry. "Three members of the cast, dressed in black, who represent fate, also move furniture, scenes and objects invisibly in order to change perspectives, giving the show a filmic quality."
To 23 February (0844 847 1656; www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk)
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