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Third Angel presents

9 Billion Miles From Home

We’re going on a journey
We’re performing a ritual
We want to live in a big here, and a long now
We want to let things take the time that they take
We are beginning to understand that we can’t do that alone

“a brilliant piece of work”
Mark Fisher on The Guardian theatre blog, on performances at the National Review of Live Art, 2009. (It’s well worth reading the discussion in the comments, too).

This full length documentation (1hr 17min) includes the show ‘set up’, which began 30 minutes before advertised show time, and was open to the audience; the ‘performance’ begins at 33 mins in.

The video below is a 2 minute trailer for the show:

Premiered 2007, toured through to 2009

Performed by
Alexander Kelly & Gillian Lees

Devised and Designed by
Alexander Kelly, Gillian Lees & Rachael Walton

Composer and Sound Designer:
David Mitchell

Technical Support by
James Harrison & Marty Langthorne

Video Documentation by
Christopher Hall

Tracey Doxey & Hilary Foster

Special thanks to
Phil Stanier and Dr Simon Goodwin

Commissioned by Chelsea Theatre for SACRED.
Supported by Leeds Met Studio Theatre.

Programme Notes

Where are we and how did we get here?
It’s been around for a while, this one. Or at least the ideas behind it have - they’ve been appearing in notebooks and sketchbooks, in rehearsals, in our education work and even making brief appearances in “finished” projects since about 2002, or even earlier.
On its journey to the show we have now, this piece has gone under the titles Voyager and The Distance Project; it has appeared as three very different scratch / work-in-progress / in-at-the-start performances, and it has thrown up two other related, one-off, site-specific performances.
Perhaps it is such a big fascination, or rather a fascination with something so big, that it offers an endless territory for exploration. What we have now is very different to those earlier incarnations, and deliberately so. It is also a move away from the direct, performance lecture/stand-up influenced mode of recent pieces The Lad Lit Project and Hurrysickness.
The final process of making 9 Billion Miles From Home has been one of stripping things away - ideas, material, text - and asking ourselves the usual questions: What is this work about? Why does it bother us? And, as usual, if you answer one of those questions, it helps you to answer the other one. This has allowed us to get to the ideas at the heart of the piece, and to give them more space, and to understand them better ourselves.
In 2004 we embarked on a research project called Karoshi, in collaboration with Dr Peter Totterdell and Christine Sprigg from the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, and Dr David Sheffield from Staffordshire University. The Karoshi project’s research into our relationship with time fed explicitly into several pieces of work: Realtime, Hurrysickness and Standing Alone, Standing Together. But having settled into the backs of our minds, it appears that the influence of this research has crept into other work since. It is recognisable as a flavour in the other show we are touring this year, Presumption, and has turned out to be important for 9 Billion Miles From Home - one fascination helping to illuminate another.

There's lots more information about making and touring Third Angel projects 2008-2017 on our original blog, and 2017-2023 on the blog on this site.