Tea Time

Tea Time is currently unavailable on this website as it has been signed over for an online distribution deal with Portland Green Cultural Projects 20011-12 http://www.portlandgreen.com

Technical information

7’03” duration
Filmed on DVcam
Available on Beta SP, Digital Betacam and DVD
Sterio sound

Short synopsis

In the bizarre yet not unfriendly world of a deserted cafe, two men exchange their time and unspoken thoughts.

Full synopsis

Sat opposite each other, they seem separate from the rest, a world apart, the outside noise drains away and the rest of the world ceases to exist as we enter and become absorbed in their world. The tea arrives, teapot and cups placed in front of them, a moment of the world infiltrating their space, a moment of tension as the waitress penetrates their world, we hear her footsteps fading away and resume the quiet. Through their interactions over drinking tea, we notice the way they hold themselves, their postures and innate, gestural movements, the way they are alone and together, the behaviour and rituals beholden to and the etiquette (and breaking of etiquette) that come with tea-drinking. Their silent, yet heightened, world draws on a subtlety of expression through their gestural movement and body language. Through this unspoken physical dialogue, seemingly abstract yet familiar, they make us feel absurdly cluttered with chaos and noise. At the end we are left with the residue of their meeting, an empty table, the waitress’s clean, crisp movements, a moment, her hands on table, she is thoughtful.


The film is based on a real-life observation of a non-verbal dialogue between two people in a cafe. I was transfixed by them, their presence and the subtleties of their conversational dance. Watching the story unfold before my eyes allowed me both the freedom of my own underlying storyline and to be involved in the simple yet profound physicality of what I saw. I wanted to explore the balance between this evocative scene and the natural ambiguity it brings through dance with the anchor of a simple unfolding storyline. To develop and portray each character and their relationship to one another through posture, body language, gestural movement, choreographed dance movement and the points of contact and connection between them.