Mark aims to amaze without his usual cast of thousands

You've probably seen a Mark Murphy show without realising it. A master of major spectacles, he was the brains behind the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony which boasted a cast of 1,500, including Kylie Minogue.

Thursday, 27th April 2017, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:01 pm
In rrehearsals for the production of Out of This World at Cast

Much as he loves creating major spectacles, Mark said that Out Of This World is about him taking back control.

“‘From an early age I’ve always created my own work and with big events you have so many people involved, so many hoops to jump through and usually only one chance to get it right.

“I love them, but it’s great to get back to a form where I have a hand in everything.”

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The show is a mix of theatre, film, music, aerial movement and medical dilemmas that challenges the audience to leap headfirst into the action.

With a cast of five led by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Swire, the action unfolds as the audience takes a journey through the mind of a woman locked in a coma following a car accident.

“She’s given a choice,” said Mark. “She wants to get away from the trauma and the pain – but in doing so, is faced with either losing her life or her love.”

Murphy cut his creative teeth as director and choreographer of dance company V-TOL.

Their shows were renowned for visceral thrills and challenging subject matter and Out Of This World is true to that template.

Without burrowing into spoiler territory, the story centres on the moral choices the central character faces as she hovers on the thin line between life and death.

“It’s a rehearsal for what life could be and touches on a moral dilemma.

“How far will you go to be with the one you love?”

Mark’s setting his sights high: his ambition is to create an all-consuming experience.

“I want the audience to be barely able to breathe, I want them to have the time of their lives,” he said.

Using dialogue, breathtaking aerial movement, large-scale projection and muscular staging, chaos ensues after Ellen’s injured brain literally takes over the show.

Mark’s also incorporating his unashamed love of TV medical drama, collaborating with an air ambulance doctor and a neuro-surgeon to get the details spot on.

“If I could have had any other career, it would have to have been emergency medicine,” he said.

Given that he’s moved on from his dance origins, it’s perhaps surprising that Out Of This World is being toured under the banner of Mark Murphy’s V-TOL

Mark said: “Someone said to me, when I described the show, that if V-TOL had continued, this is the work they would be making now.”

Most of all, Out Of This World operates on a simple emotional level.

At its heart, it’s a love story.

“It’s about a time when two people who love each other have to face a life-changing moment,” said Mark.

“The moment they have to let go.”

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