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The Vertical Line


An Inner City production commissioned by Artangel, produced in association with Complicité.

“This way please, this way, down the tunnel…”

Over four nights in February 1999, the writer and art historian John Berger, Simon McBurney and the actress Sandra Voe conducted an intimate 30,000 year old journey, inscribing a downward line through time 30 metres below central London.

Part theatrical event, part archaeological dig, The Vertical Line was an oratorio of faces, voices, darkness and light; a one-off excavation for small groups down 122 spiral steps into the bowels of the disused Strand tube station, where a sequence of audio-visual installations culminated in a live performance on seven occasions. A fifteen minute radio version was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in June 1999.

The Vertical Line is available to listen to via Artangel here.

© Geraint Lewis

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