Up The Line (2011)
Up The Line was a series of short live performance installations during darkness in Margate St John’s Cemetery, inviting visitors to reflect on the outcome of intolerance and racism that was prevalent across Thanet, Kent.
The third year of Up The Line saw platform-7 took over St John's cemetery, Margate, on a cold clear full-moon night against a backdrop of some scepticism Financially supported by Arts Council England, Thanet district council and Kent county council, the event was situated in an area of numerous social issues including vocal disquiet about immigration.
Audience and Location
The performance attracted an audience of more than 400 hundred of varying backgrounds (in addition to the 70+ people involved), to the somewhat remote location. A focus was given to reconciliation and understanding foreign ways by highlighting the German war dead, buried with Commonwealth War grave headstones next to allied servicemen. The performances explored gender, injury, carers and orphans.
The attention of the audience was deeply affecting for all the artists involved; engaged and respectful, Margate evolved into the most enjoyable and forceful Up The Line yet. The feedback from the audience and the artists demonstrated an apatite in Margate for conceptual live art performance.
Special thanks goes to the Friends of Margate St John’s cemetery and Thanet district council Bereavement services team for making this event possible.
Up The Line 2011 Audience Feedback And Comments
Hi , Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed Remembrance on Thursday night. Great to see something like this locally. We're working on our festival for next year, the third Summer Squall which will be in August. Is there anything we could maybe link up on or include of yours in the event? It's meant partly to be showcasing the best of the area. It would be interesting to have a chat. Yours
Subject: RE: Up The Line 2011 Cemetery Performance During Darkness For Remembrance Week
Date: Thu, November 10, 2011 3:01 pm
Good luck with this. I hope Margate appreciate the thought behind this event as much as everyone did within Ladywell. Kind regards Dave Hawtin Sergeant Dave Hawtin
11 Nov : CCCharlieCCC Cha Lee
@MoonbowJakes - Thank you so v much for an emotive & moving evening. So well planned & executed. Simply a remarkable event for Margate.
Julian Jacobson Piano, Photo Bran Jones
21st November 2011
Sara Woodward Hi, it was a very special, atmospheric evening. Despite my father being at rest in Margate Cemetary for many years, I've never really felt a connection with the place. However 'Up the Line' really changed that for me. x
Dawn Cole A wonderful, sensitive, thought provoking and emotional event. Still thinking about it now!!!
Lorna Wigley amazing really atmospheric and really made you think. Lots of talented people there too. Hope you do it again. x
Precious Hunter-Smith This was brilliant!
Yvette Le Cook
Thank you for a great evening at "up the line" followed by a brilliant weekend
PLATFORM-7 COMMENTS PAGE
By Ping-Chi Hung
When I watched the dance at Up The Line I felt so moved because the sorrow, anxiety and worry for the women who was waiting for her men back from the battle. Is it true that her man will really come back or is it just a dream? The lights on the grave, the sound of pipe, oboe and piano all showed the power of peace and dignified atmosphere. The moonlight fell on the path in the cemetery brought us to the end of a journey. Wish this package could successfully adapt to other cities or countries. Good luck
Aaaaah lovely to remember that. I disagree about the dancers as they were my particular highlight of the evening. Really evocative and stunning performance which was internally appreciated and evaluated. And the old cockney guy with his poems towards the end - loved him! And his poems. My kids did me proud with their ballet dancing through the graveyard :)
Thank you Moonbow! How it enhanced my summer. it was wonderful having somewhere on my doorstep to go with friends and meeting new interesting people. It created a feeling of community spirit, and how I miss it.Congratulatoins to on Up The Line it was a wonderful moving experience.
By Dawn Cole
To everyone at Platform-7 congratulations on Up The Line 2011. A wonderful, emotional, thought provoking event in an inspirational setting. I felt honoured to be there.
PAUL VERRALL, LANDSCAPE & BUILDING SERVICES MANAGER, TDC
14th November 11
Subject: Re: Up The Line - St John's Cemetery
I think all the people I spoke to on the night seemed to think the idea
was a very good evening. I feel that the overall idea was good but as I
went around there seemed to be no indication on some of the places as to
whether we should be stopping for an item of poetry etc.
The dancers beyond the war memorial were not good in my view - the
dance was somewhat difficult to interpret - I felt that it could have
benefited from a brief description of the choreographers intention.
The oboe under the trees was very well set up and his playing could be
heard quite distance. In the future though it needs determining on how
long he plays and also perhaps a brief description of the pieces and how
they relate to conflict.
The piper was superb and the chapel with the light from the heaters was
superb for the evening.
The glow lights to me did show the way but they needed to be a bit
brighter - I though they were going to be bigger from your initial
discussion. The uplighters were brilliant though and really enhanced the
areas they were used in.
The Friends have not said anything specific to me but I did feel that
you had overstepped the mark by using the Friends Chapel as an
operational base - okay in that way but the amount of boxes, bags, etc
were not left tidily so it did looked messy and we had hoped to set up
our display of the work of the Friends - with the space we had it was
I also feel that parking does need to be addressed if we do this again
as the Manston Road can only accommodate so many cars. And finally there
does need to be more advance notice given - we use the entrance and some
metal posts there to display banners.
Overall verdict though a good success and well received. We would like
to see some of the photos and would like permission to use one or two
for our future newsletters etc.
Landscape & Building Services Manager
Thanet District Council
SIMON WOODGATE, HEAD OF CEMETERIES – THANET DISTRICT COUNCIL
Date: Tue, November 15, 2011 2:42 pm
Apologies for the delay in this reply. Paul has copied me in with his
response and so initially I will reflect on some of the points he
I do think the parking situations Paul refers to may have been dealt
with more satisfactorily, bearing in mind the lack of light at that time
of the evening. Although having said that, I think we were blessed with
a superb night’s weather and moonlight. That, of course, is the
responsibility of a far greater power than ours.
The positioning of the various artists was well thought out – I am
pleased about that as I was concerned we would receive complaints about
graves being ‘stood upon’. However, I do feel that perhaps the young
lady at The Surf Boat might have been more appropriately placed to one
side as opposed to on the actual memorial.
It did at times seem that the independent groups were ‘catching up’
with each other and despite the attempts to slow people down some
bunching did occur. This also meant we arrived at times whilst the
performers were in full flow and yet were moved on without seeing the
commencement of the intended piece. The dance piece did seem to be
slightly incongruous with the other content and I think some form of
explanation other than the printed programme may have been useful.
I do agree with Paul about the glow lights, although the way in which
the War Graves and what we refer to as ‘Squirrel Corner’ (oboist) was
lit was very successful. Those two pieces were poignant, as was the
film/readings by Harry Vendryes. I must admit the Chapel lighting was a
bit of a fluke discovery by myself but it certainly had a very vivid
effect being seen as it was from throughout the Cemetery.
You know, from our discussion, I was a little apprehensive about
letting this take place in the Cemetery, and I am pleased to admit some
of my fears were proved wrong. Whilst I appreciate there were
circumstances operating against you during the run-up to the event, it
differed from that which was first pitched to us back in the Summer. I
must admit the real absence of locally angled cemetery history was
always at the back of my mind, whilst I walked around that evening.
Should you be looking to Margate for 2014 I would certainly give
consideration although I would be very much in the hands of the ‘Events
Team’ for funding etc. However, this year was a success in terms of
showing what can be presented in a sensitive, respectful and
thought-provoking way and I am hopeful those people who attended found
PLATFORM-7 EVALUATORS ON THE NIGHT
EVALUATOR: Jeff Wray
I spoke to about 15 people who in the main offered their opinions without needing a prompt. Each observation was repeated more than once.
The spacing between the groups and their size was right. Everyone could hear and see the presentations and were not hurried on by the arrival of the following group.
The feeling was that the balance of words, music and dance worked well and that the whole thing flowed. In addition the performances were physically well spaced.
The length of the event was right. Not too long, so as to produce boredom but long enough to justify the trip to the venue. Not all those spoken to were from Margate (Broadstairs, Ramsgate...).
The lighting was such as to enhance the performances. It suited the evening’s subject. Any suggestion of staging the event in daylight was dismissed.
I got the impression that there would be an interest in future events. The majority of the people were locals and seemed keen to support anything which might help to revive interest in Margate.
There was one negative comment from the audience – a derogatory remark about Scots people made on hearing the closing bagpipes!
I spoke to a woman named Ineke who was from a group called Ramsgate Arts. She was interested to discuss possible future collaboration.
EVALUATOR: NIALL HOLIHAN
• Lack of publicity for the event
• “Lovely” cemetery/environment (very special)
• Bagpipes had an evocative sound
• Lots of standing (worries about older visitors)
• General positivity towards lighting
• 7 people liked (In search of you) “very lovely” general highlight of the evening
• 8 comments – “Quite interesting”
• Intensity was praised
• 11 people liked Projection on tree
• 6 people said “Evocative”
EVALUATOR: CAT SMITH
When asked to rate the performances out of ten, there was only one score of 7, all the rest were 8 or more, including six 10s.
Why did you come? How did you hear about it?
• Email from platform 7 sounded interesting
• Poster seen in charity shop
• “Never heard of anything like it before”
• Found it on face book – friend of Moonbow Jakes
• Saw poster in a cafe in Margate
• Moonbow Jakes/Platform 7 website
• Through a friend of Johnny Mac
• Saw a notice in the patisserie, sounded interesting.
What did you like best?
Piano – “quite affecting”
Liked the bagpipes
Would attend again (4)
11 comments – “better than expected”
Liked “The Charge of the Light Brigade”
Liked the diary and projection
“All of it amazing”
“A good start – I’ve been made redundant”
“Liked the pianist and poet and the dancers best”
“Thoroughly enjoyed it – everyone was brilliant”
“Dead Rat Orchestra – loved them”
“Oh yes, spiritual, brings community together”
“I’d give it 9 out of 10”
Keyboard piece was best (4)
Woman – “the dance – beautiful, moving, respectful, the rest was perhaps a bit sombre”
Children’s lantern workshop
“My favourite – The Charge of the Light Brigade”
(I saw) children practiSing ballet/dancing to the music
Liked it all, especially the oboe, the diary and the dancers
Definitely recommend/come again
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