Gravesend, England 1995.
Dr. Clive Armstrong, an academic with dwindling career prospects, wanders around the town centre stopping strangers in the hope of finding willing participants in his study on identity and language. Across the estuary at Tilbury Power Station, boiler maintenance engineer Steven Kidbrook wakes from a head injury. He’s no longer able to speak his native English. All his attempts to communicate lead only to unrecognisable sounds. When Armstrong offers to help Steven regain his ability to speak English in return for becoming the subject of a new study, Armstrong becomes convinced that these are no mere sounds, but a unique new language.
Set in the edgelands along the Thames Estuary, The Xavier Project blends heightened theatricality and documentary film which records the real life experiences of some inhabitants of contemporary Gravesend, and their relationship to place, language and time.
The Xavier Project has had two performances only – at Camden People’s Theatre and the Latitude Festival, 2014.