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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, Helpmann Award winning team Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson co-direct The Raft. They draw on their shared physical language and methodology with a hand-picked collective of performers and collaborators.

The Raft is a new physical theatre work by Legs On The Wall that confronts issues head on, posing the question:

Should we help each other or hang on to what we have got for ourselves?


Testing if this self-centred viewpoint is held at a personal level or is something that exits in larger groups and communities, fed by mob mentality, or by a taste of privilege. Joshua and Gavin hope that inherently humans want to do the right thing. Their work - The Raft - places that opportunity into the audience’s hands.

The Raft is an interactive, immersive work taking audiences on a journey that ends far from where it starts. From the moment tickets are collected, the show has begun. The use of allocated seating is the first part of a controlled segregation and manipulation of the public, which shifts and changes throughout the performance. Exploring ways to create a divide between the audience, provocatively changing who are the “haves” and “have nots”.

Unseen until this point, the floor hooked to four large chains. lifts up out of the ground and is elevated above the audience. The creation of a new level, unreachable by some.

This floating platform, “The Raft” will make the audience feel real danger as it swings, rises and falls, expertly manipulated around, above, and below them. Highly skilled performers harnessed and unharnessed push its precariousness to the edge, rendering this floating platform as a powerful metaphor and constant reminder of - what brings us together and also splits us apart.

This work challenges our audience questioning what they stand for and believe in, and asks them to confront what they might actually be.

In the end, the work focuses on the concept of what is justice in the world’s dangerous seas and contracting borders. This timely work from Legs marks a new direction for the company, pushing farther than ever before the award-winning creative partnership between collaborators Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber.


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


Video Password: Raft18 


Composed By
Luke Smiles
Directed By
Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber

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