A celebrated physical theatre ensemble are preparing for their 'biggest ever' show, after they were commissioned to provide the spectacular finale to the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2013.
Over the last decade, Tangled Feet, which was founded in 2003 by Middlesex University students in the final year of their BA Drama and Theatre Studies degree, has garnered a reputation for making ground-breaking physical theatre in unusual and inspiring outdoor spaces.
Now, the company's latest show 'One Million' will bring down the curtain on London's favourite performing arts festival at the end of June, with audiences set to be wowed by their troupe of dancers, musicians and aerial acrobats.
"One Million is by far the biggest thing we've ever done," explained Leon Smith, one of Tangled Feet's founding members and a Middlesex University alumnus. "I don't know if it's the biggest thing we'll ever do, but we're looking at an audience of around 2,000 people per night."
As with much of the group's work, the latest production confronts a tough topic; 'One Million' referring to the number of unemployed people aged under 25 in the UK.
Instead of dwelling on the number of young people out of work, the stunning new show seeks to celebrate the 'untapped powerhouse of energy and imagination' that these young people represent through huge moving structures, aerial acrobatics and impressive pyrotechnics.
"It's that time of life really," explained Leon. "But the show doesn't just say 'isn't it a terrible thing we have lots of people aged 16 to 24 who are unemployed', it's about there being a real potential.
"The pyrotechnics and performances are us looking at metaphors for hope and energy and potential."
Celebrating their landmark tenth anniversary this year, it is clear that the company is going from strength to strength and the fact that they now find themselves rehearsing in an aeroplane hangar after spending their formative years scratching around for any studio space they could find speaks volumes.
Attracting larger and larger audiences has also encouraged Tangled Feet to look at new ways to engage with the public and helped inspire the creation of an online hub, Tangled Streets.
This evolving website encourages greater audience interaction by allowing people to post videos, blogs and social media comments before, during, and after their performances.
Leon said: "Often the people who tell you you're good are not necessarily the people you listen to. This lets us have a discussion and lets audiences comment on the work as well.
Despite graduating ten years ago, the company still remain closely linked to their Alma Mater and occasionally visit campus to host performance workshops while often providing opportunities for MDX students and graduates to work alongside them.
As well as 'One Million', Tangled Feet are also touring two other productions this summer, 'Push' and 'Inflation', which can be seen variously at Imagine Watford Festival, Latitude Festival and Appetite Festival in Stoke on Trent.
'One Million' was commissioned by the GDIF, but has also received support from other organisations, including Arts Councils England, The Coutts Charitable Trust and the Foyle Foundation.