As Gophi explains in his post-performance Commentary, this is not a story about conquering a ‘real’ mountain. The mountain is a metaphor for any obstacle we face in life. Deaf from birth, Gophi has obviously faced many obstacles in his own life, but his artistry demonstrates in a concrete, visual way, how we can excel if we are determined to work hard. Like the character in this story, it’s about pursuing your dream and never giving up. Without needing words – and accompanied by the uplifting original dizi score composed and performed by Joyce Poh specially for Gophi – this performance can trigger productive discussion around perseverance, dreams, obstacles, ‘disability’ (what do you think prevents you from achieving your goals?)
Climbing the Mountain is a solo mime by the highly entertaining GOPHI NATHAN, told through mime, visual theatre and some sign language (with an interpreter’s voice-over) with support from Roger Jenkins who uses his hands/body to represent various things the climber meets along the way – a flower, a snake, a stream, the climbing rope and finally a flag on the peak unfurled.
Post performance, Gophi talks (via voice-interpreted sign) about the creative process, why he wanted to add music to the video, and how he hopes the viewer will relate the character’s step-by-step progress to the summit to the ‘mountain’ which they themselves are climbing (eg Maths, English or Mother Tongue!) Roger has provided a useful resource sheet listing related stories and suggesting pre- and post- viewing activities: Resource climbing the mountain