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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
April 7 – May 10

Producers: Dreamthinkspeak, Liverpool Culture Company & LIPA
Artistic Director: Tristan Sharps
Composer: Max Richter
Cast Includes: Bernard Merrick, Elizabeth Mollinson, Will Williams, Ozzie Yue, Kathryn Rigby, Emma Haughton, Alison Tighe, Richard Mogan.
Running Time: 1 hr (approx)

Image: One Step Foward, One Step Back promotional image

Image: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral


Wondrous. Surreal. Seminal. Serene. Just four superlatives that can be used to describe Brighton-based theatre company, Dreamthinkspeak’s, latest work, as audiences are invited to tour Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in a way never before known and try to unearth their own interpretation of Paradise.

Drawing heavily on the third part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Paradiso, and on Milton’s poem, Paradise Lost, Tristan Sharps has created a site-specific promenade piece that never fails to amaze, as the audience weave their way through ante-chambers, roofs and bell towers of this magnificent building before finally arriving at the summit to take in the city’s splendour mapped out before them where, even here, there are still surprises in store if you only care to look for them.

Adding to the intimacy and atmosphere of the piece is that those who take the trail do so in groups of three or four and are not rushed along once a specific section is completed but are, instead, invited to ponder on what it is they have seen. All of which adds to the intensity of the experience so that it becomes more of a calming, restorative exercise than a theatrical performance, with music that is without doubt amongst the most haunting.

Known mainly for taking locations and transforming them into something else altogether, Dreamthinkspeak have again managed to do the same here and so leave those who venture into taking the journey for themselves – which includes heights, dark, confined spaces and steps – with a sense of awe that can barely be described and so makes One Step Forward, One Step Back truly unforgettable and rewarding experience.

Chris High interviews Dreamthinkspeak Artistic Director, Tristan Sharps.





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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