So Below

Gerard Bell & Karen Christopher
Lighting design by Martin Langthorne

Buckets of water, mounds of earth, gravel, the time it takes a tree to wrap around a gaggle of grave stones, a stutter holding us in place. Two performers learn the dance steps, tidy the graves, fail to determine the difference between pain and itch, and tremble in the face of a world made small. Combining composed and appropriated movement with spoken word, and focussing on the texture and sound of materials, the performance strives to express the completeness of a single moment.

This duet explores a moment of pause, the space between two stutters—stopped in our tracks, we can’t move on—and as time stops and the world grows small around us we find a multitude encased in this interval. With a combination of gravity and lightness two people inhabit a carefully constructed twilight of mounding earth and the sound of water intermingled with the comic grace of a time between world wars.

Gerard Bell is an actor who has worked in conventional and experimental performance (theatre, film, video, dance and installation work) in Europe and the UK. He has worked with Pina Bausch, Graeme Miller, David Gale, Athina Vahla, Lucy Cash, Improbable and Stan’s Café.

The creation of So Below was supported by Chelsea Theatre’s Associate Artist scheme. 

So Below forms part of The Difference Between Home and Poem: a duet series. Each project in the series is jointly made, directed and performed by Karen Christopher and another artist.

Written Responses

To read writer Joe Kelleher’s response to So Below click here.

To read writer Mary Paterson’s response to So Below click here.

Performance History

9 March 2017, Chisenhale Dance Space, London (as part of TWOFOLD)

18 May 2013, as part of symposium On Collaboration II, Middlesex University, London

Autumn 2012:
7 November, 2012, Performing House, York
2 November, 2012, Performance Centre, Falmouth
19 & 20 October, 2012, Chelsea Theatre, London, SACRED 

November 20, 2010, Chelsea Theatre, London, SACRED (work-in-progress)



Video trailer from performance at Chelsea Theatre, 20 October 2012, video by Susanne Dietz

Early video taster for So Below, video by Lucy Cash