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Third Angel presents

Leave No Trace

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to escape?

Written by 
Rachael Walton and the company

Directed and designed by
Alexander Kelly & Rachael Walton

Performed by
Abigail Davies & Rachael Walton (Heather Burton for Portuguese performances)

Lighting Design by James Harrison
Music by Lee Sykes at Vortex Music
Video by Alexander Kelly and Annie Watson,
including material by Barry Ryan, Chris Greenwood, Christopher Hall & Robert Hardy
General Manager: Hilary Foster
Touring theatre piece funded by The Arts Council of England. Supported by The Hawth.

The original version of Leave No Trace toured the UK in autumn 2002. A reworked and re-written version toured more widely in spring 2003. A slightly altered, final version toured to Portugal later in 2003.

An exploration of the medical condition of dissociative fugue - in which a person forgets the details of their life and lifestyle and begins to travel, without any alarm or concern that this is unusual.
A conversation between two women, one of whom has just returned from a fugue, and the other… well, the other seems to understand what might trigger a fugue. 

A meditation on our desire to escape, in comparison with what the reality of escape might actually be like.

Our Constant Attempts at Escape

Third Angel is the collaboration between its two Artistic Directors. Each project is made with other collaborators, some occasional, some regular. The process is one of discussion, research, exploration, writing, argument, drawing, improvisation, questioning and rehearsal. Whilst collaborators are usually credited with one discipline (performance, lighting, editing), their input and influence will usually extent to other aspects of the production.

We make work about and in response to a theme or an idea or a space or an image that interests us, excites us or bothers us. I have said of our work in the past that at its essence it is us saying to the audience, Look at this, we’re intrigued by this stuff, how about you?

A recurrent theme in the work over the years has been one of escape. In the work we have travelled, endlessly, and detailed those journeys with directions, street names, road numbers, maps, film and photographs. We have sent postcards back to the folks at home, we have walked without stopping, we have erased our tracks. We have listed destinations. We have declared, simply, We travelled.

We have shut the world out with blindfolds. We have hidden behind distorting plastic walls, or in phone boxes in disguise. We have taken refuge in childhood, as if to hide from the present. We have gone to ground, shut ourselves in the flat, never to come out.
We have dressed up as movie stars, put on wigs and played with guns. We’ve written our own soundtracks, and set our own frame. We’ve given ourselves new names. Gloria. Sandra. Mary. Invented histories. Given interviews from beyond the grave.
We have insisted on too much of nearly everything, to exaggerate the everyday. Too many towels. Too much soap. Too many coins. Too many Smarties, too many pens, too many candles. Too many fucking filing cabinets. And too much swearing.
We have stood on the top deck of multi-storey car-parks, staring at the stars. We’ve imagined satellites, as far from Earth as any thing ever made. We have turned on the radio, just to hear the travel news.
We have continually set work in a non-time, or the past, or the future, and avoided the present, the here, the now. And when we have looked at the here and the now, we have only done so in order to ask, Does this make us happy?
And then, in a farm cottage near Crawley, in the summer of 2001, we began to consider a piece of work about people who really left, who really ‘escaped’, but who didn’t choose to. We began to investigate a phenomenon called dissociative fugue - a state in which a person leaves home, forgetting who they are, and travels for days or months, without being aware that they have forgotten their own identity. We began to think that Leave No Trace could be a project in which we confronted our romanticised view of escape, with the reality of what that might be like.

October 2002

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.