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Pinchbeck & Smith’s immersive performance is inspired by A Seventh Man, the highly influential 1975 book about migration by John Berger and Jean Mohr. Using verbatim interviews and photography the piece is part slideshow, part documentary, part adaptation, and explores and explodes the book to mark its 45th anniversary. It suggests that Berger and Mohr’s book has grown more relevant today than ever.

The narrative follows workers leaving home, crossing borders and facing questions about the work they do and taking medical tests to see if they are fit enough. Three performers quote directly from the book as if both narrating and acting out its portraits of a generation of young men who travel across a continent in search of a better life.

Seven audience members are invited to become migrant workers on this journey. They are met outside by the performers who give them a suitcase before bringing them into the S.H.E.D, which variously becomes a truck, a train, accommodation barracks, a border control post and an overbearing factory. This immersive performance, like the book, concerns a dream/nightmare. The existence of the migrant worker.

‘It can happen that a book, unlike its authors, grows younger as the years pass’ - John Berger 2010

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