Negotiating Space

In spring 2019, we presented an eclectic programme of talks and workshop to accompany our production, On The High Road, focusing on how we inhabit space within our homes, families, cities, states, countries continents and on our stages.

The programme brought together artists, scientists, musicians, architects and thinkers to explore some of the research and thinking that underpins the production, and created an opportunity for people to gain insight into the company’s creative process.


Architecture Embodied
Thursday 21 February 2019, 7pm – 8:30pm
Wellcome Collection, London
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How do the buildings we occupy affect how we move and how we feel? This practical workshop will use the Wellcome Collection building as a starting-point to explore the relationship between our bodies, movement and space.

Alternate Languages
Saturday 16 March 2019, full-day festival runs 11am – 7pm
Royal Academy of Arts, London
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Alternate Languages: Confronting Boundaries invites a critique of our relationship with one another and with our spaces. In a day of free immersive spatial activations, artworks, performances, workshops and discussions in the Royal Academy, we explore isolation and connection, exclusion and generosity, and ask what unites us and divides us.

> Embodied Space: Movement Workshop
12pm – 1.30pm
Suzy Willson, director of CLOD ENSEMBLE, will take participants through a series of exercises drawing on the work of French theatre teacher Jacques Lecoq, to explore ways in which we use our bodies to affect our relationship to others and the spaces we inhabit.

> Seeking Refuge: Views of Displacement
3:30pm – 4:45pm
This event will be structured around three acts, that interrogate displacement and refuge across scales, spaces and geographies. We will ask how we seek refuge with and from one another; how displacement can allow us to better understand other communities; the stories from generations of lives lived on the road; and the implications for movement and migration for public space, art, design and architecture.

Instead of a traditional panel discussion, the lecture theatre itself will become the stage for experimenting with spatial dynamics. We will consider the effects of displacement, from personal movement to national migration. Come and be a part of this performative event together with Thomas McCarthy, Irish Traveller and singer; Suzy Willson, Artistic Director of CLOD ENSEMBLE; artist David Cotterrell; and architect Robert Mull.

Ideas in Motion
Friday 14 June 2019
Tate Exchange, London
In partnership with Queen Mary University of London

> Artist Talk
1:30pm – 1:45pm
Artistic Directors Suzy Willson & Paul Clark reflect on ways that pieces in the Tate Modern collection have inspired their performance work. Paul Clark will talk about the work of Bridget Riley, and Suzy Willson will talk about a painting by Giorgio Morandi. Part of “Ten Minute Talks” where staff and volunteers from across Tate give a personal response to their favourite artworks on display at Tate Modern.

> Workshop – Physical Thinking
3pm – 5pm
Let yourself literally ‘be moved’ by the Tate collection.
Suzy Willson will lead a movement workshop which takes inspiration from artists such as Rebecca Horn, Barbara Kruger, Doris Salcedo and Mark Rothko exploring the relationship between form and content through movement.

Artistic Directors Q&As

In these discussions, Artistic Directors Suzy Willson and Paul Clark will talk about the themes and processes that underpin our latest show, On The High Road.

Post-show Q&A, after the 7:30pm performance
Thursday 25 April 2019
Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Hosted by Elizabeth Alker – presenter of BBC Radio 3’s new music show, Unclassified.

Post-show Q&A, after the 7:30pm performance
Monday 20 May 2019
Oxford Playhouse
Hosted by Sam Dick – Deputy Director of Campaigns, Policy and Influencing with Oxfam GB.

Storytelling and Music workshop
Cast, Doncaster – Wednesday 1 May 2019, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Oxford Playhouse – Tuesday 21 May 2019, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Ballad traditions are the place where storytelling and music meet. On The High Road features three singers who have different backgrounds and singing styles, including folk, cabaret & classical. The songs in On The High Road deal with stories of travel and change, with tales of people moving home and meeting new people on their journey. As well as learning songs as a group, participants in this workshop will learn to write their own songs or adapt existing tunes to their own lyrics.

This workshop is led by award-winning Irish singer Thomas McCarthy, recipient of the Singer of the Year at the 2019 Irish Traditional Music Awards (Gradam Ceoil). He was described by the judges as “one of the most exciting and moving voices singing today…an ambassador for traveller singing.”

Tuesday 21 May 2019, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Open House Oxford

A found-sound workshop on space, identity & Oxford.

What does it mean to call Oxford home? How do you experience public spaces? Can you find comfort in your surroundings?

In this workshop, led by Transition by Design and the Young Women’s Music Project, participants will collectively record and produce their own track. Using found-sounds and spoken words we will explore other people’s experience of space, looking anew at the familiar streets, spires and spaces that we call home. Inspired by the themes of our new performance On The High Road, where a group of strangers are forced to negotiate and share space together.