UMBILICAL (in development)

A new, middle-scale theatre show currently in development with the kind support of Home Manchester.

On a listening post deep in space, a delirious Martin Baker has mercifully reached the end of a long, solitary and unsuccessful mission to listen for signs of life. His extended period of isolation has taken its toll and he is desperate to get home to his family but on his last night, a mysterious incoming signal dramatically puts his return on hold. So far, so sci-fi, and rich with the imagery, action and metaphorical possibilities that space can bring. But when deciphering the signal leads to a doppelgänger family moving in to unnervingly reconstruct first his house and then scenes from his past, he realises something or someone much closer to home is trying to make contact. Martin’s inclination is to retreat ever deeper into space but paradoxically, the further he flees, the more his trajectory loops him back to a drip-drip emerging, real-world story that underpins this unsettling, thrill-a-minute, flight from reality. 


As the layers are peeled back, UMBILICAL is revealed as a love story. A love story desperately hanging on by its fingernails after being blasted into the atmosphere, as it rides the supersonic, propagating shockwaves of an unthinkable event and its aftermath. A compassionate hymn to a lost and found man and a growing realisation that defenceless, damaged people, in danger of burning up in the white-hot atmosphere of trauma and grief, can find the courage to re-enter their lives to live, forgive and perhaps love again once the fire has abated. It’s just sometimes, they have to go to the other side of the universe to find their way home.

With a stellar team in place and every aspect of the show deployed to illuminate the narrative and intensify the emotional payload, the show promises a unique blend of scripted acting, bespoke projection, story generated movement, ground breaking flying techniques, explosive special effects and an original score from seminal composer and recording artist Barry Adamson (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, David Lynch, Oliver Stone).