Review: MARK MURPHY’S V-TOL – OUT OF THIS WORLD @ Northern Stage

I have to admit I was really scared about going to this show and I had thoughts about not going. But then I thought to myself, if I don’t go to see Out Of This World at Northern Stage then I am simply denying myself the experience to engage in a piece of art.

And I suppose, especially in recent news everyone has experienced something that they have not wanted to endure.  So I did, I went to see Out Of This World as it is my job as a reviewer to try and emulate my experience and you know what- it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

Created by Mark Murphy, Out Of This World follows a woman called Ellen who has not long since been married to Anthony. They have been  in a horrific car accident which leaves Ellen in a medically induced coma.

It is from there that we see Ellen on a journey inside her head as she is fighting for her life and her love.

Out Of This World is not performance art, it is a piece of art in motion. Murphy has created a powerful installation that makes us as the audience question our own life and how we would react if we were in that situation.

The set or perhaps I should say backdrop to the art looked like a hospital waiting room, all white and sterile- there were chairs laid on the floor as if had been thrown around and what looked like drips hung around the stage.  As if something had happened there but we were yet to find out what.

Things hanging in mid air were a strong component, as I noticed Ellen (Sarah Swire) was wearing a harness throughout the show and sure enough there were explosive moments in the story where Ellen would be falling or releasing her emotions and we would see her in mid air being flung around the stage. It was incredible to watch and at sometimes it was a little scary, seeing her being flung around like that I was fearful of her falling.

And this is where I appreciated Out Of This World and was glad that I went to see the performance.  As there were times in the show that Ellen would step out of the stage and address the audience unsure if this is as Ellen or the actor playing her.

For me it is still a comfort, as I sit and watch the events unfold- having a moment to breathe and simply listen to what “Ellen” says acts as a reminder that this is just a story, it is just a piece of art that I am engaging in. Yes what I am watching is upsetting and it does happen in real life but Out of This World is at the end of the day just art.

For more information about the show visit their website here 



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