Artificial Things

Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll. However, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths. In this cinematic and evocative production Stopgap Dance Company creates a compact world of riddles that question our notions about unity and co-existence.

Chris points accusatorily at himself in a circular mirror.

[Image description: Chris, a white male dancer with Downs Syndrome, points accusatorily at himself in a circular mirror held up by another dancer who uses it to cover their face. Chris wears a hat and a white shirt with shoulder epaulettes, the shirt is stained with muted blue, red and yellow inks that run and bleed from the collar. The figure holding the mirror is white and wears a pink toned knitted vest.]



  • Exhilarating, emotional and provoking ★★★★

  • Bold and disarming ★★★★

  • Thought-provoking, intelligent, imaginative, powerful ★★★★★

  • Bold and honest ★★★★

  • Inventive and visually stunning

Your Reactions

Production Images

  • Amy and Dave in Artificial Things

    ID: Dave leans in to Amy, as if whispering in to her large brown cartoon mouse ears.

  • All five dancers in Artificial Things together

    ID: All five dancers in a line, seated on stools or wheelchairs, Chris sits centrally and stares down the camera.

  • Chris Pavia stands within a clear vitrine, dressed as his dictator character in Artificial Things

    ID: Chris stands in a glass box, looking stern wearing a brown cap and shoudler epaulettes.

  • Dave and Laura lay together on the floor.

    ID: Dave and Laura lay together tenderly on the floor.

  • Dave and Laura together in Artificial Things

    ID: Dave perches atop Laura's back as she presses herself up from the floor, her collapsed wheelchair behind them.

  • ID: Amy falls and arches backwards, supported by David's hand at her neck.

Award-winning Dance Film

Artificial Things was reimagined into a dance film in collaboration with Sophie Fiennes as the director. The film won the prestigious dancescreen 2019 award for best Choreography

GCSE Dance

Artificial Things is part of the GCSE Dance Anthology. Below are some useful resources for teachers and students

Amy, Laura and David caught mid-jump and mid-wheelie

[Image Description: Amy, Laura and David caught mid-movement. In front - Amy and David in identical leaps with heads turned to the side, extending one leg down and the other bent up. Behind - Laura balances in a wheelie in her wheelchair. Each wears similar costumes with blue and green inky stains, Amy is in a short dress, Laura has a vest and trousers, and David a button-up shirt and suit trousers.

Further Reading for Students

Related stories


Lucy Bennett
Artistic Direction & Choreography

Yoshifumi Inao
Guest Choreographer for Section One

Amy Butler, Laura Jones, Chris Pavia, David Toole, David Willdridge
Performers & Devisers

Anna Jones (Curious Space)
Theatre Design

Chahine Yavrovan
Lighting Design

Chris Benstead
Composer for Section One

Jim Pinchen
Composer for Section Two

Andy Higgs
Composer for Section Three

Sho Shibata
Executive Producer

Callum Graham

Richard Walker
Production and Stage Manager

Francois Langton
Technical Manager

Rosey Morling
Costume Supervisor

Joy Ralph
Access Worker

Musical scores

Old Songs New Songs by John Whitney & Roger Chapman, used by kind permission of Carlin Music Corp

You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To by Cole Porter, used by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music

Supported by

Arts Council England, Farnham Maltings, Pavilion Dance South West, Zinc Arts, PASS Circus Channel (Interreg), The Point – Eastleigh and University of Surrey

Additional thanks

Company Chameleon, Charlie Morrissey, Thomas Noone, Joop Oonk, Rootless Root and C’ie XY