Tim_plane_IMG_5974 Movement_IMG_5961 production_shots_IMG_5643 Bal_IMG_5759 Emma_SM_DSC_0040 Helen_DSC_0042 Score_72dpi 72_dpi_Beach 26_Sundarban 10_DSC_3101 copy 2 Scenes2_DSC_0077 2_kettle_IMG_5622 icebergs perfectstorm259b4fc new_kids_DSC_3127 wf_IMG_4218 James_DSC_0007 Emin_DSC_2319

With actors / makers Tim Lewis and Balvinder Sopal, we

stood on Folkestone beach and high up on the cliffs to the east of the town looking out towards France.



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WED 23 SEP 2015


A man is swept up by a storm. His son is a refugee fleeing climate change.


In the rehearsal room we read the WWF climate adaptation report: Sundarbans, Future Imperfect. In it are first person accounts of the impacts of climate change on lives led in the region.


Till the 1970's the magnitude of the impact was very low but for last three decades we are finding it really hard to cope with the magnitude as well as frequency of impacts. Storm cyclones, tidal surges and consequent flooding have become recurring events now. We used to enjoy six seasons in a year but it is hard to comprehend seasonal changes anymore.

Jalaluddin Saha 2007, Age 60, Baliara, Mousuni Island


As more and more people settled near or along the embankment, the mangrove vegetation started thinning because people used it for fuel wood and the plants were not regenerating. Gradually soil slipped away from below the trees and eventually the remaining trees were washed away around 1985. The embankment started to erode as well. In 1992, the earthen embankment gave away. About 100 of us lost our homes and land.

Nitai Chandra Maity 2009, Age 60, Baliara, Mousuni Island







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On Google, a patchwork of satellite images reveals a shock of green, grey blue trails weaving through it, the great rivers of the delta spilling into the Bay of Bengal, turning turquoise, ultra marine. I can see the shapes of islands, distributaries defining them, zooming in, creeks, more creeks, more...


According to Hindhu mythology, when the Goddess Ganga was ordered down to earth, she was so infuriated by having to leave the party she was at she set off in a rage. Lord Shiva went to catch her fall. He caught her torrent in the locks of his hair, then let the water loose, gently. It's the water sliding from Shiva's locks that I can see on Google.



MERIS_image_of_the_Ganges_delta_India_Bangladesh_n edit_DSC_2392 01_DSC_0012_lowres Channel 10_group_hug 06_keeping_watch THE_EDGE


FRI 4 SEP 2015


This week we began to make Transport's latest production, The Edge – a story of a journey through weather, time and friendship.


Our week began in Folkestone. Transport Theatre is based in Kent and the company are Associate Artists at the Quarterhouse Theatre, Folkestone.


Actors / Makers – Tim Lewis and Balvinder Sopal, Folkestone

Fisayo Akinade and Cherrelle Skeete –

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Collaborative & Devised Theatre Students


But in fact the story of The Edge begins a few years back. In 2011 we made a trip with Royal Central School of Speech & Drama students to Calais.


We huddled on the beach in the cold before some students decided to brave the water. Talking with the migrant community and the Calais Migrant Solidarity Group, we learnt about the difficult journeys people of various nationalities make to Calais and of their desire to cross the Channel to Britain.

In Dover we found a public sculpture of Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the Channel (1875) and on our return made a piece with the Central students about journeys across the Channel – some made out of a will to survive, some for the sake of personal challenge or achievement.

Back in our rehearsal room this week (at Talawa Theatre, Shoreditch, London) we look into the history of the English Channel (or for the French, la Manche). We discover that the Channel is a relatively new phenomenon.


450,000 years ago when ice covered most of what we now know as Britain there was a land bridge between our island and the European continent. As that ice melted the force of the water was so great that a 'mega flood' burst through the bridge and formed a channel.


However, it wasn't until 20,000 years ago, following another period of glaciation, that temperatures rose and sea levels grew to form an ocean channel, rather than a river bed – the Channel that is so familiar to us today.

WED 10 SEP 2015


We have been thinking about the South East coast of England and how climate change will affect it.


We read that climate change and sea level rise are likely to have a severe impact on UK coasts by 2080 – that sea level rise may exceed 1m and a rise of 2m is possible. We learn that an increase in storm events and coastal erosion will accompany this. The low-lying, soft sediment areas of the UK are most vulnerable, for example, East Anglia and the Thames Estuary.


Back in 2011, following our work with Central, we began an exchange with Ranan Dance Theatre Company in Kolkata, supported by a British Council Connections through Culture grant.





This meant that Vikram Iyengar (Artistic Director) and Amlan Chaudhuri (Company Member) were able to come to England and spend time with us in Folkestone and London.


Together, we made a visit to the Thames Barrier. The barrier is one of the largest movable barriers in the world and protects London from flooding caused by tidal surge. However, by 2035 it will need upgrading.


We began to hear tales from Vikram and Amlan of Kolkata and the Ganges Brahmaputra Delta, itself highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We're beginning to dig into these stories in our rehearsal room today.

Ranan Company:

Vikram Iyengar and Amlan Chaudhuri



TUE 15 SEP 2015


The Ganges Brahmaputra Delta is home to the largest single tract of Mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans – in the Bengali language, Shundor, beautiful, Bon, forest – spans India and Bangladesh (roughly one third in India, two thirds in Bangladesh).


As oceans warm and global sea levels rise, tidal surge and storm events become more frequent in the Bay of Bengal. The mangroves provide a natural breaker to the more than 100 million people living in the Delta region.



December 2011 – January 2012 we paid a return visit to Ranan in Kolkata and made a week-long expedition into the Sundarbans.


We were struck by the pneumatophor roots of the mangroves. These protrude vertically from the mud. Mangroves have adapted to intertidal conditions and are salt tolerant. The pneumatophors are submerged when the tide is high, but when the waters recede they get to work and breath for the trees. In fact, pneumatophors means breath carriers.


Pneumatophors, together with other root systems (belonging to 26 species of mangrove in the Sundarbans) form a mesh, which literally holds the silted land in place.







The mesh of the roots catches silt, mud, debris from the water flowing by, stabilising the ground on which the trees have grown. In this way, the trees build the land, they earth the islands. And this construction presents a breaker to the semi diurnal tide. With varying force the tides come knocking; the mangroves meet them and send them away – baffled.


Excerpts from Breath Carriers, a short story about a journey into the Sundarbans

by Vicky Long


THU 17 SEP 2015


While in the Sundarbans, Vikram introduced us to a range of Kathak gestures that represent natural phenomena.


In the Ranan studio we spent time getting our heads around how tides work with Jo Royle, a professional sailor and marine ecologist who travelled with us to India.


In London at the National Theatre Studio, at The Nursery and currently at Talawa, we experiment with wave energy and explore a physical vocabulary for enacting the human body in water.



Nursery_06_0556 Full_team fireman SoundFile

FRI 18 SEP 2015


This week the creative team has grown. Helen Atkinson, Sound Designer and Will Duke, Projection Designer are in the room.


When I ask Helen how she works, she says:


It's like I'm another performer in the room.

Doug asks me to try something and I do!


Already a soundscape conjuring Kent

and the Sundarbans is emerging.



                              LISTEN HERE





Will begins to experiment with projections on and off the actors’ bodies, using a Kinect sensor and full-body 3D motion capture




Doug, Tim and Bal in a script huddle.




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MON 21 SEP 2015


From the beginning of The Edge project, Doug – Douglas Rintoul, Artistic Director of Transport – has asked collaborators to take part in a Le Coq exercise which has to do with exploring physical connection.


Here, Bal and Tim hold a bamboo cane between them. They move around the room taking it in turns to lead. The cane is held between the forefingers of each actor, meaning that complete awareness and responsiveness to the other is needed to keep the cane suspended.


The exercise can be undertaken in several ways. With Ranan, we worked as a group, moving from a circle into a web, then untangling to get back to a circle – keeping the canes suspended all the time. However, with Bal and Tim, Doug is intent on exploring the connection between two people – two actors in a space, two characters in a drama. With the bamboo and other exercises, Doug is looking for a form to express the shifting connection between the two.












Bal and Tim place chairs in the space, shifting the objects and themselves in relation to each other





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Another exercise Doug has asked collaborators to take part in from the beginning involves mapping out personal and family histories. Here Bal and Tim tell their stories, starting with themselves in London and working back as far as they can go. They map the geography of each story across the rehearsal room floor – two very different stories, but occasionally they bump into each other. The connections are surprising.


Central students shared their stories with an audience during a work in progress event at Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre (the festival celebrates the links between South East Asian and British culture). Here was a crowd of stories with many overlapping elements where moves were made through common imperatives of economics and love.







A woman steps into the sea in Kent. A man is swept up by a great storm in West Bengal and two decades later their children meet on a beach by an English town that’s been abandoned to the sea. She’s training to swim the English Channel. He’s a refugee fleeing climate change.









Two characters’ stories collide in The Edge. The piece explores the commonalities between those stories and the nature of their actual collision – what exactly was it that drew them into contact?








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During our time in the Sundarbans we visited a village on Sagar Island that had been rebuilt many times, a little further back each time as the sea steadily encroached.


We also visited Ghoromara, an island that is eroding so quickly, its entire population is preparing to leave. Lohachara, its neighbour, has already slipped away.


Lohachara Island was swallowed by the mouth of the Hugli River… a distributary of the Ganges.


The courses of the rivers flowing through the delta change all the time, wearing at islands in different ways. There is increased flow of water from the Himalayas, as glaciers melt at a greater rate. This and the spread of damming increases unpredictability of flow. Sea levels are rising as oceans warm and I learn that the Indian Plate is tipping, gradually, in a southerly direction, lowering the land.


Add to that increased shipping along the Hugli - all of this can overwhelm an island.


Breath Carriers, a short story about a journey into the Sundarbans by Vicky Long

Sagar Island, Sundarbans


Ghoromara Island, Sundarbans


The connection between two people, seemingly worlds apart, was Doug’s starting point for our devised piece.


Writing for the Huffington Post, Doug comments:


Many of the islands in the Sundarbans had eroded and in some cases disappeared. There had been significant migration out of the region; in the villages many children had been left without parents, and local fishing and agricultural economies were collapsing. Predictions for 2050 put the whole of this region and its five million inhabitants at risk – and we’re not even talking about Bangladesh yet.


On returning to the UK, I started to look at predictions for sea level rise for coastal communities in England. Talking to coastal management and sea level experts from the National Centre of Oceanography it became clear that there will come a time in the not too distant future where decisions will begin to be made about areas at risk – we will have to let some go, ‘manage a retreat’. Current policies on coastal management are linked to the economic significance of an area. The most impoverished and vulnerable, as in India, may not be protected. There was the connection and the starting point.

THU 24 SEP 2015


An English town abandoned to the sea.


The Edge is about our future – projecting forwards, to 2035. However, many of the events it explores are ones we are already experiencing.


In December 2013, Cyclone Xaver hit the Norfolk coast. In a Guardian article, a resident of Happisburgh, who refers to herself as 'technically, a environmental refugee', describes the coastline post storm:


Beyond a temporary ‘road closed’ sign, the asphalt comes to an abrupt end, hanging over a precipice. The bright yellow cliffs are pockmarked and slumping, constantly worried by the waves. A haphazard path to the beach drops over dark slabs of clay – which look solid, but crumble to the touch. On the beach, decaying remnants of wooden sea defences offer no resistance to the waves. Severed water pipes stick out from the cliff face like broken limbs, the only remnants of a seaside suburb.

With Bal and Tim we read a report on the impacts of climate change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities (full report and summary here). We learn that in some places the government is already managing the retreat of communities. For example, large programmes of retreat are taking place in Essex and West Sussex. We understand that it is the poorest communities, in areas where property values are low, that are being asked to move. Elsewhere, the government continues to invest in sea defences.

The impacts of climate change play into a more general decline in coastal communities. On the south east coast, towns which were once fashionable holiday destinations are now home to some of the highest levels of poverty in Britain, as, for example, the Channel Tunnel and an abundance of cheap flights kills off the tourist industry and affects local livelihoods. The report we read talks about the further affect of this decline on mental health.


A woman steps into the sea in Kent.

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Happisburgh, Norfolk


The shingle to the west of Folkestone, running along to Sandgate and Hythe, needs 're-profiling' each year as the sea pushes it further inland


Fishermen in Folkestone struggle to make a living – the next generation won't continue the trade


Douglas Rintoul, Tim and Bal in a script huddle




With this project, we are interested in exploring the lives of people who live on the edge, where land meets sea. We are interested in their relationship to the water and their vulnerability to its movement.




There is something about the edge: the edge of the land and water, of habitation and wilderness, of safety and danger. Here possibilities abound that don’t exist in the security of the interior. Mythically it is the lone explorer that searches out the edge. But in life it is entire populations who learn to live at it, on it, with it.


Sunand Prasad, Architect & Former President of RIBA



During this project we have met with the Environmental Justice Foundation and have read reports published by the organisation, such as No Place Like Home – Where Next for Climate Refugees? and The Gathering Storm – Climate Change, Security and Conflict.


The EJF draws the link between climate change and human rights, pointing out that climate change is creating millions of refugees – people forced from their homes and land – by rising temperatures, sea-level change and extreme weather events. The EJF is concerned by the fact that many of these refugees are among our planet’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The Foundation asserts:


These are the first victims of our failure to prevent climate change: people who, without international help and new binding agreements on assistance, have nowhere to go and no means to survive.


That climate change will become one of the most important factors in the creation of conflict and the consequent movement of people around the globe has been highlighted by the current refugee crisis taking place in the Middle East and Europe. In this short Newsnight clip Emma Thompson underlines the urgency of our coming to understand the relationship between the two.






We take a break mid-morning and put the kettle on. This reminds me of the American philosopher, James Garvey speaking on ethics and climate change (a video of his full talk can be found on YouTube).





Half a billion people wake up to warm houses over a lifetime of winters and they have toast and coffee and showers every morning.


They drive to work and they get on with their lives and they go to a fine beach every now and then and for well deserved weekend breaks. They have good intentions and lead reasonable lives. But the energy that supports that activity comes mostly from the burning of fossil fuels. And so too with the parents and grandparents, maybe their children and grandchildren. All of this in conjunction with much else results in a thickening of a band of greenhouse gases, which heats things up. Sea level slowly rises.


Fifty years later, after the toast and the coffee, a coastal village in China is inundated, drinking water is contaminated, crops fail, people starve to death. Fifty years after that, people who might have had tolerable lives have awful lives.


How do you think about justice in that case? There's no harm, well there is harm, but it's eventual. Whose fault is it? No one intended it. There was no single hot shower or coffee that was enough to cause harm. No single life on its own did any harm. How do you think about justice in that jumbled mess with causes and effects smeered out over hundreds of years and thousands of miles?



WED 30 SEP 2015




There's a file in our shared Dropbox folder named Script. There's also one named Research Materials. As we work through the material together, we create fragments – bits of story, information, dialogue – and place these in the Script folder. From the fragments Doug writes the script. Each day a new version is saved, which Doug works with and tests in the room.


At this stage the shape is there and most of the content, but scenes will still shift around. We're also beginning to intercut the lines given to the two characters – The Son and The Daughter – as Doug looks for ways of layering the content so that an audience will experience resonances between the stories each tells.





Today, following the daily stretch, we take a look at the latest iteration of the script. Doug has been working on it over the weekend. Bal asks whether it will change much more. Doug replies, yes. But changes up to the last minute won't throw Bal and Tim – they know that in a devising process, lines, movement, props, set, everything can change right up until the moment the play opens.


The script has grown from the research we have done since the project began: the places we've been, the conversations we've had, the stuff we've read. Working with the Central Students, Ranan and the Quarterhouse Young Company, lines have been committed to paper for sharings of work in progress, but it is only in this current devising period that all of that work gets drawn together.







While working on this project we learnt about the fence India has built all the way around Bangladesh – Bangladeshis who come too close are frequently shot. With The Edge we have wanted to explore the plight of those who have no choice but to leave their homeland and the hostility or lack of understanding they can meet.







Since the company was formed, it has had an interest in migration and all of its work has had to do with the subject in one way or another.


Thinking long and hard about how to tell the stories of those who have endured great loss, long journeys, brutality and more, Doug has come to relate these in the third person. He first tried this with Elegy. The story of 'Him' was told in this way:


She asks him why he left his country?


His story is his real passport. On his journey he heard that some are more powerful than others; some more likely to touch the hearts of the interviewers. He's worried his own isn't powerful enough. 








Similarly, The Edge will be told in the third person, for example:


The Daughter:

She takes off her shoes and socks, rolls up her trousers and hurtles towards the sea. The tide’s out…


The Son:

They take shelter in a small creek, lined with mangrove trees. His father drops the anchor and draws in the oars. It’s not the first time his father has taken shelter over night, but this is his first time. Stories of tigers spin around in his head.


Tim and Bal will appear to the audience as themselves and then tell the stories, stepping into and demonstrating an understanding of what it must have been like to experience them first hand. In this way, Doug feels full respect is paid to the difficulty people are dealing with in real life.


A vlog released by Transport – see above – introduces the two characters whose stories will be told: one a man who has to leave his home in the Bay of Bengal, the other a woman who loses her home on the South East coast of England, both displaced by the impacts of sea-level rise and erosion.











Elegy Image Adam Small Internet

Transport's last piece, Elegy, told the story of a gay man fleeing post liberation Iraq due to persecution.






MON 28 SEP 2015

Each day begins with a stretch. Both Tim and Bal are brilliant at yoga – the rest of us look on with admiration.






Tracey Emin, Baby Things, Folkestone Triennial 2011













Children, Basanti,














The Edge will follow the two characters from their early years through to adulthood, when they meet on a beach in the UK.








Indian / Bangladeshi border






TUE 6 OCT 2015


Everything is in and ready to go. We begin to tech – this means working through all of the technical cues: light, sound and video.


Matthew Haskins is Lighting Designer. He and his assistant, Jon Nunn are making adjustments to each lighting state. Doug may ask for greater 'warmth', or for what looks 'hot' to be turned down. Once the lighting states are set, Jon will take over from Matthew, setting up and running the lighting (LX) at each venue.

Em_Producer2 Set_Build

Transport is led by Doug and producer, Emma Cameron. Emma keeps an eye on everything: the creative team, the budget, the tour schedule, press interest, etc. She's a bit of a wonder – without her, everything would fall apart.






Emma goes to check on the set, under construction at Set Up Scenery in their purpose-built low carbon workshop in Malton, Herts. The fact that we're working on a production that has to do with the negative effects of anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change, means we are trying to be cognizant of our carbon footprint in the process. Choosing to work with environmentally aware partners, such as Set Up Scenery feels the right thing to do.


Emma sends me some pictures of the set, mid-build.






Emma Cameron













The set has been designed by James Button and avoids literalism, for example, no direct representations of earth or water. A pile of books stands for a coastline in decay. There is a reference here to library closures in the UK, a symbol of losses being sustained by communities across the country and more widely. As part of its tour, The Edge will be performed and filmed at Folkestone Library. The film will be shown on National Libraries Day, 6 Feb 2016.

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On the first day of the devising process we meet at the Quarterhouse, Folkestone and view James' model box.













Early model box













James is also responsible for the costume design. He has picked out neutral clothing which could belong to the actors as well as to the characters whose stories they tell.


James tells me that he has bought clothing from M&S and H&M, the reason being that both have made impressive strides on operating in environmentally sustainable ways. M&S' Plan A, aims to 'source responsibly, reduce waste and help communities'. It set a bench mark for other clothing companies and H&M follows in its footsteps.


While a Guardian article picks up on the difficulty of accepting that H&M or any clothing giant can claim environmental credentials with ease, journalist Lucy Seagle comes to acknowledge the concerted work H&M is putting in and is impressed by the company's progress towards targets such as sourcing 100% of its cotton sustainably by 2020. A short video highlighting H&M's initiatives can be found here.


World Factory, a METIS theatre production, presented at the New Wolsey Theatre and the Young Vic earlier this year, focussed on the challenges of operating sustainably in our existant systems of global commerce. METIS' Digital Quilt holds research the theatre company undertook on the subject.

James Button and Tim discuss costume













World Factory at the Young Vic













FRI 2 OCT 2015

Next week we move to the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, where Transport is an Associate Company. The play opens there on Thursday 8 Oct 2015. For now however, we're still playing in the rehearsal room. Helen is busy weaving into the soundscape, music written specially for The Edge by composer Raymond Yui.

Ray and Celine

The music was recorded at the National Theatre in its sound recording booth. Now, Helen takes it and threads it through scenes as Doug works with the actors.

Raymond Yui and harpist, Celine Saout













The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.


CG Jung














This is part of a process – of layering and editing speech, movement, sound, music and light – which relies heavily on intuition (of the director and the full creative team). The team looks for connections between all of the elements, shaping the material to create a finished whole. This is where all the material we've immersed ourselves in, all the maps, info, pictures on the wall, fall away and the creativity really takes off.

By Transport Creative Associate,

Vicky Long

From the start of this project, we have wanted to maximise the non-linear elements to our story-telling.


I used to work with Cape Farewell and in collaboration with a wide range of artists we were in search of new ways of telling stories about climate change that would engage rather than turn off. The excerpt (quoted above) from Mike Hulme's book, Why We Disagree About Climate Change is something I have kept in mind since that period of work and it, together with other pieces of writing/thinking, such as the Open University and Ashden Trust Culture and Climate Change publications, Narratives and Recordings, have had an influence on our making of The Edge.


As we near the end of the process, although there are necessarily some linear elements to our story-telling, there are multiple frames with which to engage, many of them non-lingual and abstract. Overall, the frames aim to entice and involve an audience in the truth and beauty of the connections between us all and our environment, not only in the present but through time, past, present and future.




Getting away from the metaphor of polarities or linear flows and replacing it with the metaphor of circularity would help at a number of levels. In science, there’s been the linear model of how science should be deposited in the minds of our citizens. But, if we displace those ways of thinking with notions of circularity then it allows different frames to emerge.


Professor Mike Hulme, Founder of the Tyndall Climate Research Centre




























My role in the project has been an interesting one. In many ways it has been dramaturgical, from taking part in the generation of ideas to handling research material.


But I have also participated in many of the devising exercises and had a hand in structuring the research trips we made. Cape Farewell is well known for taking artists with climate scientists to parts of the world where the impacts of climate change are perhaps most visible. My experience with Cape Farewell meant that I was able to help Ranan piece together a research expedition by boat into the Sundarbans and to prepare for our full immersion in the environment and the issues pertaining to it.


What's been really joyful about my involvement has been that Doug and I met in India when we were 18, both teaching in schools there – he, Emma and I all share a love of India and to be able to make work in connection to the country and in collaboration with its artists has been fantastic.



Vicky with Shataf, company member Ranan














Disko Bay, west coast of Greenland with Cape Farewell, 2008















MON 5 OCT 2015

Get in at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.


Dave Ferrier is Production Manager and is responsible for getting the set, lights and sound equipment into the space and up and running in good time. A production desk is set up in the middle of the auditorium – Will and Helen begin to try out sound and video files.


The New Wolsey puts out a steaming hot chilli for us early evening. It's good to be here.

Dave Ferrier















Matthew Haskins














Helen Atkinson















Model box














WED 7 OCT 2015


Vikram skypes into our tech from Kolkata. He has done this throughout the process and though he is tied up with touring, he and Ranan are planning on making their own Edge production from the research we have all engaged in. We exchange design ideas in response to what he sees via skype.



Vikram and many in the Ranan company are Kathak dancers. While we were in India we learnt lots from them about this ancient art of story-telling. Katha is a Sanskrit word and means story, or tale. Earliest forms of Kathak involved recitation (the telling of a story, verbally), with some music and some movement. Although our production of The Edge may look as if it involves much technical wizardry, the final effect is, we hope, to support Tim and Bal as they tell their stories centre stage – for example, Helen's soundscape helps create a sense of place without there needing to be a complex set.




We open tonight.


Emma will stage manage the show. She began her professional life as a stage manager and holds onto this role with Transport, partly because she enjoys this involvement in the live event, but also because being able to see the project through, from its beginning to the moment it's shared with an audience, helps ease the whole process. It means decisions can be made quickly – the person who can take them is right there – and it also helps maintain a sense of company togetherness from start to finish.


Emma will tour with the show. After Ipswich it travels to Canterbury, then London and on to six other venues over October and November before closing in Salisbury.


Originally Emma and Doug wanted the show to tour to a set of venues along the South East coast, but it proved difficult to stack venues up in this way. However, The Edge does keep a relationship with the coastline, touring to Folkestone, Portsmouth and Bristol. Emma and Doug were also keen for the production to tour to non-theatre venues, in order to engage with a diversity of audiences – for this reason, The Edge tours to Folkestone library, where, as mentioned above, it will also be filmed.

Tim_IMG_5761 Matt&Jon_DSC_0023

Jon Nunn















Opening night and three more shows are behind us. The show is on its way to Canterbury. It's been great to put it in front of an audience. Post show comments are encouraging and some influence tweaks we make to the production as it makes its way to the next venue.




Artist and photographer, Zbigniew Kotkiewicz took production shots during the dress rehearsal and these are now public. The photos and a video trailer Zbigniew has made will help promote the show as it tours.



In this week of opening, Emma picks up on the news of Syrian refugees rescued from the Channel as they swam to reach a boat on its way to England. Our character, The Son, ends up in the waters of the Channel as he attempts a crossing, so this news has direct impact.


We follow the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester and Teresa May's statements on immigration: the Government's determination to clamp down on the rights of asylum seekers, its unwillingness to take part in finding a collective solution to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people who have found their way with great difficulty to Europe, its resistance to an age of mass migration.





When we started work on The Edge, we anticipated making a show which would look at how borders could tighten in the future. We didn't think that we would see tightening to extent already on display by the time we made the show.


Under the United Nations Refugee Convention – the key legal document in defining who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states – a person displaced due to environmental degradation is not able to apply for asylum. There is gathering discourse and policy work around protecting people in this position and pressure is being put on those attending the UN climate talks in Paris this November/December, COP21, to not let this particular issue slip off the agenda.


Our intention with The Edge has been to join those voices calling for greater compassion and understanding around the plight of people suffering from the impacts of climate change, and to encourage a sense of collective responsibility towards those in this kind of difficulty.



For more information about Transport or this production go to www.transport-theatre.eu

Resources linked to above, in order of reference


Calais Migrant Solidarity Group

Documenting the lives of migrants in Calais



Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Impacts of Climate Change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities, 2011




How the Thames Barrier works, and when it is scheduled to close, 2015

Environment Agency information on the Thames Barrier – part of the agency’s guidance on Flooding and Coastal Change and Environmental Management



Vicky Long

Pneumatophors - Breath Carriers, 2014

A short story, for two voices (one Indian, one British) – take a trip into the mangrove forests of the Bay of Bengal.



National Oceanography Centre UK

Rich online resource of ocean research




Sundarbans Future Imperfect, 2010

Climate Adaptation Report, with personal accounts of environmental change from people who live in the Sundarbans



Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

This Sinking Isle: The homeowners battling coastal erosion, 2015



James Garvey

Philosopher on ethics and climate change


Contribution to The Climate Camp Global Warm Up, SOAS 2009



Environmental Justice Foundation, London


No Place Like Home - Where Next for Climate Refugees? 2009


The Gathering Storm – Climate Change, Security and Conflict, 2014



Transport Theatre

Elegy, 2011

The story of a gay man fleeing post liberation Iraq due to persecution. Script available:



Mike Hulme

Why We Disagree About Climate Change, 2009

Written by the founder of the Tyndall Climate Research Centre, this book argues that climate change is not 'a problem' waiting for 'a solution', but is an environmental, cultural and political phenomenon which is re-shaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity's place on Earth.


Cape Farewell

A cultural response to climate change



Editors: Renata Tyszczuk, Joe Smith, Nigel Clark, Melissa Butcher

ATLAS: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World, 2012


Editors: Robert Butler, Eleanor Margolies, Joe Smith and Renata Tyszczuk

Culture & Climate Change: Recordings, 2011


Culture & Climate Change: Narratives, 2011



United Nations Refugee Convention



COP 21

Paris Climate Conference – review of the UN’s Framework on Climate Change



Other Resources, key to the making process


Steve Waters

The Contingency Plan, 2009

A double bill of plays about the future impacts of climate change on the east coast of England


Amitav Ghosh

The Hungry Tide, 2005

A compelling novel, which delivers a fantastically graphic depiction of the Sundarbans


Philip Loiret

Welcome, 2009

Film/drama about a Kurdish teen’s travels across Europe and the English Channel


Frank Chalmers, BBC 2

Crossing Hell’s Mouth, 2012

Documentary – Frank Chalmers, the English Channel swimmer, prepares for his toughest swim yet, across the notorious Pentland Firth



Editors: Wallace Heim and Eleanor Margolies

Landing Stages, 2014

The edited version of the Ashden Directory and Ashdenizen, which tracked cultural productions with ecological themes, 2000-2014



Julie’s Bicycle

Bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and the creative industries