The Crossing Place – Romantika

The Crossing Place – Romantika has an absurdly joyous opening, which is unexpected considering that the show is marketed as a study of loneliness, anxiety and desire. But the course of the performance proves this to be the perfect tone-setter; dark and vicious yet fun and playful, The Crossing Place is just that – absurd.A series of dramatic readings punctuates abstract physical theatre meditating on the themes of the chosen poems, all by Swedish Nobel prize winner Tomas Tranströmer, with the music of Franz Schubert providing a powerfully atmospheric backdrop. A potent combination of rich mediums, this production could easily get the balance wrong and overload the senses but, for the most part, it succeeds in grappling with its content and develops the relationship of the three protagonists effectively.

This is a strange and moving piece of physical theatre, high-octane and cerebral.

Inventiveness, particularly in the use of space and set, is the project’s strongest suit. Summerhall’s Upper Church is an ideal venue; a very large stage provides the actors with the space they need to carry out their energetic routines and gives an enormous structure made of bin bags the room it requires to breathe (incidentally, this sculptured set is beautifully put together and would not feel out of place in an art gallery).

Romantika, the company behind The Crossing Place, describe their work as being, in part, visual art and this is an accurate statement. The three movers – Chris Mawson, Michael Blundell-Lithco and Ciaran John, under the direction of Johan Bark – are always alert to the shapes and forms their bodies create, individually and as a group. An especially engaging routine involving a bag of white powder is one of the show’s highlights, and manages to tread the fine line between pure aesthetics and performative relevance. This quality is present for much of the show; the piece rarely strays so far into the abstract that relevance feels lacking. However, it does have a tendency, particularly in the middle section, to slow down. It is not in pace or energy that the performance slows – indeed, the opposite is true – but in creativity. Several of the central passages misjudge the weighting of the considered versus the frantic, and sometimes the movement oversteps the boundary between interestingly violent energy and an excessively macho power-play.

Yet in spite of these occasional faults, The Crossing Place is accomplished. This is a strange and moving piece of physical theatre, high-octane and cerebral.  

Reviews by Sam Fulton

Pleasance Dome

The Paper Cinema's Macbeth

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Speaking in Tongues: The Lies

★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Fuaigh – Interweaving

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Phil Wang: Kinabalu

★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Turntable / Edinburgh

★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Me, as a Penguin

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘Three strangers meet in the middle of nowhere, in a Crossing Place far from the communications network of civilisation. In their meeting, the last untouched space is tarnished forever’. The first ever English-speaking production, based on poetry by Swedish Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Tomas Tranströmer. The Crossing Place is a fast-paced, visual and highly physical piece exploring loneliness, anxiety and desire. Late-night in Upper Church. An abstract journey exploring the human’s relationship to nature, and himself, performed to Tranströmer's poetry, and musical scores by Franz Schubert. Devised in Tallinn, Estonia, by experimental theatre company Romantika.

Most Popular See More

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets