To Reach the Clouds 17 Jun 2006

Adapted from Philippe Petit's book of the same name, this dramatized his famous coup, during which he walked on a high wire between the Twin Towers in August 1974. The adaptation was commissioned and directed by Giles Croft, and performed at the Nottingham Playhouse from June 17th and July 8th, 2006.

Click here to read an interview with Philippe Petit with BBC Nottingham


"On August 7 1974 Philippe Petit astonished the world by going out for a walk. The stroll took place 1,350ft above the ground on a steel wire suspended between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. Even more astonishingly, the cable had been rigged illicitly during the night. The police were waiting for him on the other side. Petit put his version of events in a book, which director Giles Croft believes to be "crying out to be told on stage". Directors usually say this when they know the theatre is the last place a project is likely to work, but want do it anyway. Yet there are moments in Nick Drake's adaptation that genuinely capture the audacity of what Petit called "the artistic crime of the century". ... Though the script avoids direct parallels with 9/11, it's hard to forget the historical irony. When it seems that Petit's efforts are likely to be frustrated, his girlfriend assures him "the Twin Towers aren't going anywhere". Nor can you watch the preparations of Petit's team for a successful - albeit benign - assault on the towers without being reminded of the cataclysmic events to follow. Yet Croft's production keeps you enthralled by the fact that Petit conceived the stunt and lived to become technical consultant to this show. It is, one has to concede, a well-balanced production."
The Guardian

"The play incorporates a low wire walk as well as a breathtaking simulation that is exactly the moment of awe and beauty intended. Suspension of disbelief is everything here and the blue neon, blue sky and sudden stripping away of buildings does create the rooftop of the world. ... There are moments of the highest tension, especially near-discovery at the eleventh hour. Just one oblique reference reminds us of the fate of the Twin Towers but it’s always there in the back of the mind."
The Stage