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The Raft (NSW, Australia)


1 Jan 2020 - 21 Jan 2022

Short Synopsis

About the work

Both renowned for their highly physical and demanding choreography, in which

they blend storytelling, character and extreme physicality, Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson will draw on their shared physical language and methodology to co-direct The Raft, crafting it with a hand-picked collective of performers.

The Raft explores an idea where two worlds exist side by side, one below and the other floating above. The show is a comment about what we value, what we own, what we need, and what is not seen, i.e. the influence and the impact of our choices.

Whoever is on top of “The Raft” has gravity on their side. This privilege becomes about power, facilitating the want for more - and abusing it, sometimes to the determent of others – who may fall or be pushed. The debris caused by this privilege becomes someone else’s problem, the problem of those below.

The work revolves around a newly developed large platform apparatus “raft”, which is suspended mid air, and is able to swing, tilt, lift and fall. This allows for an ever-changing performance space, which is at times seemingly precarious, dangerous and unpredictable. 

During a seeding investigation workshop in November 2015, Gavin and Joshua began to test performers nuanced physically interacting with, coping with, and surviving the apparatus, and each other. Legs will advance on that initial workshop, moving into major development in Nov 2018.


artistic rationale

  • Great artists with an international reputation
  • Excellent festival show
  • The topic has great physical theatre metaphoric potential.
  • Medium scale work for touring


“The raft symbolises our want to control, to build great cities and civilisations in a world where the very construction and growth of these civilisations becomes the very thing that causes destruction to other smaller nations. Many of the Pacific islands are in real trouble from rising seas but yet here where land is high we don’t seem to think it’s our issue, as it doesn’t affect us. However, everything is linked, whether we like it or not”
Joshua Thomson

Composed By
Luke Smiles
Directed By
Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber

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