As the World Tipped, Blackpool: Come Josephine in my flying machine…

Polly Checkland Harding
Shot from below of aerial dance performers on a hung stage

How often do you get the chance to see aerial theatre in a cricket club? As the World Tipped is an astonishing, free, outdoor performance in Blackpool.

“Wired have always felt at home sprinting across the outside of tall buildings.” What a way to describe a theatre company, hey? Not just any company, though – Wired Aerial Theatre specialises in bungee-assisted dance, the choreography all taking place at the end of a springy rope. But, as it turns out, it isn’t always easy to find the buildings to dangle from: Wired’s hugely popular performance, As the World Tipped, which comes to Blackpool Cricket Club at the end of this month, came about precisely because it is so difficult to find this most particular kind of stage.

“Wired have always felt at home sprinting across the outside of tall buildings”

Imagine a dance floor hanging, not flat, but vertically from a crane: this was the vision that Jamie Ogilvie, one of Wired’s founding directors, came up with one evening. And, for the first performance of the aerial spectacular As the World Tipped, his idea became reality. The piece explores the slow slide of the world into climate change and ecological disaster; it’s set at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, where harried staff fail to notice their surroundings tipping into catastrophe.

“These are lives dangling on a thread, and I think that’s an amazing, very literal metaphor for our lives – particularly our planet and our people,” argues Nigel Jamieson, writer and director of the show, gesturing towards the precariously suspended performers. As the World Tipped combines stunning visuals with music and choreography from the “twirlies” (how Jamieson and co. refer to their dancers) – it’s also, amazingly, free. Come on, can you really think of something more incredible to do with your weekend?

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