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EN ROUTE REVIEWS

AUCKLAND 2013

One of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had in my life, I was completely absorbed in my own thoughts, discovered outposts of contemplation in the middle of some of what I previously regarded as the ugliest bits of the city. THE must-see Auckland Arts Festival show.
Alice Harbourne, gather & hunt


I've lived most of my life in Auckland, loving and hating it as anyone is wont to in his or her hometown. Now, via En Route, I've seen my own city through a new, unique lens. What ensues is an originally constructed four-dimensional geographical collage... an immersive artistic journey. Each track comprises original Auckland-based music (and) philosophical commentary and discussion on the existential nature of sight and place, intrinsically related to where you are and what you're doing or observing at the time. Auckland is the tenth city that the company have infiltrated with their uniquely immersive urban art-trail.
Nik Smythe, theatreview


SEOUL 2012

Your journey is a series of unexpected moments. You wander in the alleys of old cozy ambience, only suddenly to get distracted or run through the market. ...you are faced with a cityscape that has past and present, familiarity and strangeness, love and hate mixed together. Then something starts to touch you. It's the realization that 'seeing' is not a passive following of something you're given but an active building of relationships with the subjects. By making landscapes that had been regarded as familiar infinitely strange, it makes us fully experience that 'seeing' is not 'possessing' but 'creating relations' and 'letting it drift away'.
4 stars
Dong-A Ilbo


LONDON 2012

You arrive at the starting point then follow clues through the streets, your head wrapped in a cloud of sound, local music and philosophical suggestions. Assisted by text messages, you feel like a spaced-out invader with a free pass to everywhere and X-ray powers of hearing that tune you in to the city's stream of consciousness.
Caroline McGinn, Time Out London


Never previously having much joy with this kind of technology driven drama, it is a relief that the Australia-based company is so accomplished that the participant can just concentrate on the content. Which is London. As musicians and voices from the capital weave a beguiling soundscape in my ears - sometimes wittily commenting on the view, occasionally striking a poetic chord - it is liberating to be lead around places I would never normally visit, throwing the capital into a whole new light as judged from the perspective of the intrepid explorer rather than my default position of harassed commuter.
Jonathan Lovett,The Stage


participants get to explore both the physical and emotional landscape of Stratford. Expect to be emotionally challenged ‘en route’ – one moment you will feel absolutely invisible, the next you will feel incredibly exposed. One particular encounter will see you examining your deepest regrets and another will have you putting yourself into the shoes of passers-by. I found the experience deeply profound, but I don’t want to reveal too much. Enter into the ‘en route’ experience with a completely open mind and you’ll get the maximum benefit from it.
The Londoneer


You are walking up a graffiti-covered rail bridge, your footsteps guided by an insistent, shouty, grimey soundtrack. Midway across, you realise where you are but not how you got there or where you are going. This is en route, an arresting piece of immersive theatre by Australian theatre group one step at a time like this. This is theatre that places audience members in their own private drama on the streets, within crowds, among unsuspecting strangers. Props, tasks and site-specific music by local artists make en route a curious journey, a dream-like experience where you are sometimes a passive avatar following commands, sometimes yourself and in control, contributing personal, subjective things along the way. ...a memorable, mixed-up and moving journey that will stay with you long after the music has ended.
The Londonist



LAUNCESTON 2012

I am behind the scenes, in a private world, a shadow cast on the wall of this city's sunny day.
Laneways I would otherwise not discover reveal tapestries in spray paint, niches carved in brick, underworlds with offerings to private gods. I dip in and out of shadow, of shops, of laneways, of dappled sky. These are no longer places of routine; to shop, to park, to transit between. They have been transmuted. En Route exhilarates, confuses, reveals, and may even move you to tears. I have been granted a golden key to the city. Things taken for granted take on new meaning; people, signs, shops, everything feels symbolic. Reinvented. Renewed. The city is no longer made of cement, brick and mortar, dust and noise: it is wonder, time, scent. It breathes. It has a heartbeat.
Wendy Newton, Write Response



CHICAGO 2011

Good theater can make the strange familiar. Great theater usually makes the familiar strange.
And what is more familiar than the city of Chicago? But if you take my fervent recommendation and go see "en route" I guarantee you'll see this city in a way you have never seen it before. ...the experience will be revelatory. This show is wholly immersive of the psyche. You are asked to explore your own feelings, find your own voice and, frankly, confront the way you can be in a place for maybe a lifetime and see so little. You get the chance to right that. On the walls, in your head, or out loud.
4 stars (4 out of 4)
Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune


A deliciously devised, surprise-laden piece of theate. I found myself hyperaware of my environment and taking intense pleasure in the sense that I was on an adventure almost no one I passed knew about. Reaching its end, knowing I could never revisit the journey afresh, was almost heartbreaking. But I found myself newly alert to the supposed mundanity of the city; for those who need reminding of the everyday mysteries in which we swim, en route is a bracing reboot..
5 stars
Kris Vire, Time Out, Chicago


With en route, One Step at a Time Like This gives the gift of sight. Their piece isn't about getting us to see the city but about getting us to see, period. And I'd say that in my case, for a precious interval that started during En Route but outlasted it by a couple hours, that happened. Somewhere along the line, the sound track, the changes of scene, the instructions, the indeterminacy of it all combined to tear me loose from my intentions and allow me to do the sort of seeing that starts with a willingness to tell yourself you've got nowhere else to be and nothing you need to do. I temporarily forgot to want anything.
Tony Adler, The Chicago Reader


EDINBURGH 2010

..their sheer loving attention to the fabric of the city and the way they range freely and imaginatively through the possibilities of 21st century and traditional media distinguishes the work of the artists who make up one step at a time like this. This audio work leaves you shaken and a little changed.
4 stars
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman


...a wonderfully atmospheric sojourn that gently but firmly forces you to confront and break through your own emotional shield as you create your own drama.
4 stars
Neil Cooper, The Herald


The true beauty of en route is that it creates theatre in all that is around you. From the moment the experience begins you can’t be certain what is part of the performance and what is mere reality. With all of your senses heightened, you start to see everything in poetic detail and wonder where each thing fits in the narrative of the city. Was the perfectly clean toothbrush discarded in a smelly alley a prop, placed there for some significance? Was everyone I passed on the street secretly in on the adventure – from the man that winked at me as I smiled at him, to the family who followed close behind me taking my picture? Joy surges through your veins as you spot an arrow chalked on the pavement, and you follow it unquestioningly until you pass a phonebox and it rings from within. Is that for you?
Lois Jeary, A Younger Theatre


...a kind of euphoria and a breathtaking new perspective of the city.
4 stars
Alice Jones, The Independent


BRISBANE 2010

A mind-blowing trip around our laneways and secret nooks …a revelation. I just took the en route tour and I’ve fallen in love with Brisbane all over again. I did things I never thought I’d do. For a short period of time I was Alice down the rabbit hole, seeing the world anew. I smiled non-stop.
Katherine Lyall-Watson : Our Brisbane


DARWIN 2010

Standing amongst the shops and luxury hotels of the Darwin waterfront you imagine hearing the wail of sirens, the crashing of bombs, the distant voices reporting death and destruction in this very place, 19 February 1942. Then you’re brought dizzyingly back to contemporary Darwin, walking up through the CBD's modern buildings, through little alleyways that juxtapose the old porcelanite English-style architecture with thirty and forty storey apartment blocks. This is theatre for one, en route, which is part of the Darwin Festival.
ArtsHub Australia


ADELAIDE 2010

As you listen to a wonderful selection of carefully chosen music you’ll find places you have never been (even if you’re local) and become immersed in a soundtrack that connects you to the places and people around you. ...This is a totally enthralling experience.
Final Word: Brilliant.
Michael Coghlan : Rip It Up magazine


You a solitary traveller drifting through some other reality as you walk the high roads and back lanes of the Adelaide CBD. Your companions are iPods, text messages, and the odd person who appears out of the crowd to hold your hand. En Route asks you and challenges you for your understanding of your place in the city.
5 stars
Tim Lloyd : AdelaideNow


It throws you off-balance, and has you looking with different eyes at a city and yourself; without giving it away, there aren't many shows that would have you shouting from a multi-storey car park, or in my case buying a porcelain statuette in a record mart. En Route stood out as a true original.
Tim Cornwell : The Scotsman


MELBOURNE 2009

The most singular experience of the festival, however, was en route, a lesson in falling in love with the city. Walking down graffiti-coloured laneways, discovering speciality music shops, garage sales and messages from strangers, one was never sure what was constructed and what incidental to the experience. Soon enough, the modern-day flaneur was shouting on the street, writing on the walls and even running in front of a tram, holding hands with a complete stranger. ...few performances manage to so completely tear through the bubble of reserve in which we spend most of our lives.
Jana Perkovic : ‘ReadThis Space’  RealTime Magazine


Cities are in some ways about isolation. (…) we shut down our perception of the countless faces and movements and surfaces around us. en route gently strips away those blinders in a way that is nothing less than revelatory.
John Bailey : Capital Idea


My simple and overwhelming response is this: I feel blessed to have been able to participate in en route. Strange, and rare to have this response to a work, but very true. The very personal nature of the work has filled my mind and heart with thoughts and feelings of immense possibility. The brilliant and expansive that can be found in the quotidian and microcosmic. The boundless world found in the interior of consciousness, and the wonder and meditative energy that can be derived from walking the city. en route has inspired me to return once again to my long lost past-time of nothingness filled with fascination: the gentle joy of simply being une flâneuse.
Actual/ideal