Spring - Autumn 2019

The human body is two thirds water. It is easier to float than sink.

We live on an island, surrounded by water. We haven’t always but one day we floated away.

 A choice, a parting, the sea.

 An examination of how we stay afloat in turbulent times and what happens when we reach our edge .

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Co-commissioned by University College London Culture and funded by Arts Council England, this new RAPT project will begin R&D in June 2019.

Through key autobiographical stories, we take a coastal tour of the UK exploring the notion of living on the edge across socio-cultural and scientific domains with academics, journalists, communities and individuals.

The edge of an island, the edge of understanding, the edge of society, the edge of a decision, the edge of our voices, the edge of life.

Exploring the potential for a touring coastal piece which works across disciplines and with experimental forms to better understand ourselves and our society.

  • Two coastal choirs create new compositions about living on the edge - The Choir with no Name ( and The Dawn Chorus (

  • Academics (neuroscientists, physicist, sociologist) explore how we live in liminal spaces.

  • Journalist Susan Smillie sends regular updates about her life at sea and why she left to sail solo around the UK, in search of a kinder Britain.

  • At the heart of the piece is the struggle for different people living or working on the coast to try to find meaning – using the poem ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ by Stevie Smith as the starting point, underscored and interjected with the live voices from the choir.