Barbican online world premiere and digital tour for gritty dance-theatre show
Double National Dance Awards nominee Rhiannon Faith’s new show DROWNTOWN holds a mirror to a society at tipping point and is now remodelled for online presentation
In choreographer Rhiannon Faith’s new show DROWNTOWN, six strangers, weighed down by individual darkness, come to a deprived coastal land. Seemingly abandoned, there is no one to help but themselves. Stuck between the remains of a broken community and the vast bleakness of the sea, they struggle with isolation, shame and failed support systems.
DROWNTOWN’s live world premiere was set for June 2020 at London’s Barbican. In reaction to the pandemic Faith has teamed up with award-winning Big Egg Films to create a stunning multi camera film version of the show.
Bold and brave, the show uses autobiographical testimonials and text to give voice to the vulnerable and unheard in Britain’s areas of social deprivation. With tenderness and honesty, the show holds up a mirror to a society at tipping point. DROWNTOWN arrives to help save our world from drowning.
Rhiannon Faith explained ‘DROWNTOWN was made with a hope to heal a broken world. With the profound loneliness and isolation many have experienced during the lockdowns I really didn’t want to delay the opportunity for people to see it. As communities start to put their lives back together, this show is asking that everyone is included in the process, and there is authentic belonging for all.’
The World Premiere will be hosted by London’s Barbican on 1 June 2021 at 7pm. Watch via the Barbican website at https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2021/event/rhiannon-faith-company-drowntown-film
Join the creator/Director and cast on Facebook at 8:45 for a live Q&A after the show.
The Barbican will then host the film to watch on demand until 6 June. DROWNTOWN will then tour digitally through June with runs hosted by Cambridge Junction, Gulbenkian Canterbury, Ipswich Dance East and Harlow Playhouse. See a trailer here.
In the 2021 National Dance Awards Rhiannon Faith Company has been nominated for Best Independent Company, and Rhiannon for Best Digital Choreography for her work on the DROWNTOWN ‘prequel’ DROWNTOWN LOCKDOWN.
Watch the 17 minute film here.
DROWNTOWN was named in the Evening Standard’s eight ‘Best dance shows to see in 2020’.
In The Observer dance critic and Killing Eve author Luke Jennings said of Rhiannon’s last show, Smack That ( a conversation) ‘raw and eloquent with a final note of hope’ while The Guardian described it as ‘a party game to help change the world. The Stage hailed it as ‘Inventive, demanding and immersive, a work of urgent importance’
‘So many communities are broken, people are drowning, so something must be going wrong,’ added Rhiannon. ‘Even Covid19 hasn’t really restarted the conversations with the wounds and emotions being effectively pushed down to the sea-bed. I want to reopen those conversations urgently’.
Performed by a cast of six (Shelley Eva Haden, Donald Hutera, Dom Coffey, Sam Ford, Marla King, Finetta Oliver-Mikolajska) the show shines a light on individual suffering and discusses loneliness, social isolation, bereavement and suicide. Suitable for over 16s, it contains strong language and scenes that some may find upsetting.
London Barbican Centre Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
£pay what you feel
Rhiannon Faith Company is the sector leader in professional and participatory socially conscious dance-theatre that has a lasting impact on audiences and participants. The company’s previous show Smack That (a conversation) looked at domestic violence, premiered at the Barbican and toured through 2017, 2018 and 2019, receiving universal acclaim from critics and audiences. Rhiannon Faith is a choreographer and theatremaker who makes work that raises awareness and lobbies for change http://www.rhiannonfaith.com
DROWNTOWN is presented by the Barbican, co-produced by Harlow Playhouse, commissioned by Cambridge Junction with commissioning support from DanceEast. The production is supported by Brighton Dome and Festival Ltd, South East Dance, and uses public funding from Arts Council England. With thanks to Harlow Playhouse production team and staff, Dancehub, Mark Webber Sound Technician, Bethany Gupwell LX programmer & Operator and our creative collaborators pre-covid Lewis Bramble, Cherie Coleman, Thomas Heyes and Maddy Morgan.