The dramatic physical theatre show

September 13th-15th – St Hilda’s Pit Head, St Hilda’s Colliery in South Shields, Tyne & Wear

‘TRAPPED’ trailer


TRAPPED is a unique dance/physical theatre show created by Experiential Dance Company’s Artistic Director, Rachel Johnson and is performed by a highly trained physical theatre cast: Joseph Delaney, Luke Rigg, and Alex Rowland. 

TRAPPED was inspired by the true story of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped miles underground for 69 days in 2010 when the San Jose mine in northern Chile collapsed on top of them.  A massive international rescue operation was watched on TV by millions of people around the world as the miners were eventually winched to safety. 

The show has been performed underground all over the UK in caves, mines and caverns including the Crypt at St Pancras Church in London, Killhope Mine in County Durham, and Poole’s Cavern in Buxton.

From September 13th to 15th TRAPPED will perform in the beautifully restored and re-opened St Hilda’s Pit Head in South Shields. This historic building from South Tyneside’s coal mining past is being restored and brought back into use as a community space by Tyne & Wear Building Preservation TrustThe performance at St Hilda’s will feature live music by composer/singer Hayley Youell and filmed footage created by Rachel Johnson.

Rachel Johnson (left): “In addition to the incredible TV coverage, I read the book ‘Deep Down Dark’ by the Pulitzer prize winning journalist Hector Tobar.  It captures this unique drama so vividly; from the conflicts and the emotions that enveloped the men during their first fortnight underground when death by starvation loomed, to the subsequent weeks when they managed to make contact with the outside world.  I realised I could never imagine what it would be like to be in that situation and I was so moved by the story that I wanted to make a piece that somehow reflected a small part of the men’s experience.

“I created the piece to be performed underground and in caves, disused mines and collieries; the atmosphere is tense, charged, dramatic and, ultimately, hopeful.  I’ve designed the performers’ physical movement to reflect the confined space in which the miners were trapped but also the camaraderie and the hope that drove them to survive.

“We’ll be performing at the Crypt at St Pancras Church in London again next year and we’ve already taken the show to Killhope Mine in County Durham, and Poole’s Cavern in Buxton.  We’ve designed miniature lighting rigs which sit on the front of the hard hats worn by each member of the audience so that they can follow the performers and go on the journey with them.”

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