Coastal Edge

Phil Smith

Exeter Phoenix (March 2006)

Dressed as Oddi of Oddicombe, a seven foot tall plastic hot dog, caped in a flag of St George and squirting ketchup on his head, offering himself for consumption: an exploration of the myths of destruction, refinement, gold and cinema on a path discovered while researching and performing Performance On the Path. The battle of red and green, the white path walked across on knees, the emergence of the blue.

For Tide & Time.


For Space

Phil Smith

Dartington College of Arts (February 2006)

A short performance celebrating different definitions and travellings of space - Doreen Massey's trajectories and satellites, Tim Ingold's spheres, a tiny, ruined planet falling to earth remembered from a comic or a memory, a beach hut broken up in a storm and some doubtful information about a geological fault off the coast of Ireland. Salt liquifacts, evaluation is measured by a détourned ranging rod, and journeys are made across MOD land, around the maze on St Catherine's Hill, Winchester and to the Savoy Cinema, Exmouth where the frame invades the narrative.

For Making Space/Taking Space Conference (Devon Arts Forum and CCEP).


A Michael Chekhov Mis-Guide

Phil Smith & Simon Persighetti

Dartington Estate (November 2005)

atmospheres, lines in the table cloth, vodka and milk, a performance walk around the sites of Michael Chekhov's actor-training at Dartington Hall in the 1930s, ordered by one of his student's training diagrams, informed by the conversion plans for his former-rehearsal studio (to a chicken shed).


Performance On The Path

Phil Smith

Shaldon to Babbacombe (September 2005)

A walk/performance from Shaldon to Babbacombe starting at the Ness House where Henry Forbes Julien perfected the refining of gold, a subterranean stream of stolen treasure running beneath the path from the well at the Mad Monk's lair. Stopped at Labrador Bay (where dogs are banned) for a sip of tea with Nan and Pop. Here Mabel Costanduros wrote St George and the Dragons, both martyrs and demons appearing at the Valley of the Rocks above Watcome Beach (Devon's failed Hollywood), tunnels of green, red underfoot, Oddi the hero of the path, John Lee the resurrecting killer of an old dragon. Did he murder her for her gold? Or contempt for her refinement? Back to Shaldon by boat, like the Argos Project cameras on the Ness that film the sandbanks, the walk is turned through the appropriate degrees and played backwards.

For South West Coast Path Team, Villages In Action, and Tide and Time.


Crab Steps Aside

Phil Smith

Teignbridge coastal sites (July 2005)

Sequel to The Crab Walks but this time the journeys range more widely, from an accidental naked intervention in the cafe of the Volkbad in Munich to a spiral walk in San Gimignano. And the venues too: a lido, a tea shop, a hotel, a museum, a viewing platform, Charles Babbage's former tennis court and various sunny places overlooking the sea.


Observatory Walk

Phil Smith

Sidmouth (April 2005)

A performative walk from a (possibly fictional) 1957 showing of Quatermass 2 at the Radway Cinema, Sidmouth to the domes of the Celestial (but covertly Terrestrial) project at the Norman Lockyer Observatory above the town. Anomalies in the earth's magnetic polarity, an old Curé's box of books and a cord stretched ('pet-sar') to align it all to unreliable stars. It was overcast.

Commissioned by ALIAS.


Time and Light

Phil Smith

Exeter High Street (February 2005)

Détourned measuring of Exeter's High Street according to Einstein's 1905 Special Theory of Relativity. Audience negotiating the performance using a time zone map.

With Exeter Phoenix and St James High School.


The Gap

Phil Smith with Matthew Watkins

Central Exeter (September 2004)

The Gap was a walk/performance, co-written and performed with mathematician Matthew Watkins, around 'geometrical' car parks, department stores and squares in central Exeter - using these buildings and their surroundings to act out some of the work, ideas and gymnastics of William Kingdon Clifford, geometer: helicity, vertigo, geometric algebras and mind-stuff.

Commissioned by the British Association and Phoenix Media.


The Crab Walks

Phil Smith

Dawlish & Teignmouth sea-fronts (July 2004)

Performed by Phil Smith in beach huts at Coryton Cove, Dawlish and The Point, Teignmouth, The Crab Walks weaves strands from six weeks of walking in South Devon in search of the spaces of childhood holidays. They were no longer there - instead the performance journeys through a braided landscape of dread, comic, sacred, haunted and revelatory routes. Personal, accessible, with as much wishing as walking.

Funded by Arts Council England and Teignbridge District Council.


Forest Vague Panic

Phil Smith

28 Danes Road, Exeter (June 2001)

Forest Vague Panic was a neo-symbolist attempt to set in motion the sinister images and symbols repeatedly 'recovered' by reactionary movements and individual 'researchers': from back-engineered alien technology through the primal forest and on to Ultima Thule. A monodrama set in a critical, but fascinated mind. Performed mostly in the attic used as an office/workspace by Phil Smith.


Cancelled Menagerie

Phil Smith

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter (December 2000)

Performed in the Natural History Room of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Cancelled Menagerie is based on the performers' associations generated by its collection of stuffed animals, much of it shot by 'big game' hunter and dystopian C. V. A. Peel, author of An Ideal Island. A dramatic narrative pitting lobster-detective against bird-scientist is swamped by insect ideas from 'big game' hunter Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.


Page Boy

Phil Smith

Downstairs in the former Maritime Museum, Haven Road, Exeter (October 2000)

Performed on a distressed map at the launch of the Wrights & Sites' publication SITE-SPECIFIC: The Quay Thing Documented, Page Boy is a physical deconstruction of texts and cartography, a sifting for the raw material of mytho-geography. The Exe winds into Narnia, the Devil’s Footprints stumble across the Scoriton Mystery, Bron Fane's pulp fiction is looted for esoteric grid references.



Phil Smith

28 Danes Road, Exeter (July 1999)

Performed in Phil Smith's small back garden, Bubbleworld was an exploration of the fractal borders between familiar playing in the garden and the imaginary spaces of childhood. A Dalek is excavated, a selfish adult giant confronts three child-scientists, difficult dreams are remembered. The space is defined by bubbles.


© Wrights & Sites, 2008