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Rhiannon Faith's DROWNTOWN to premiere online via The Barbican before 'digital tour'

Rhiannon Faith Company, DROWNTOWN, Harlow Playhouse

New dance show DROWNTOWN from Rhiannon Faith is to hold its world premiere online in June.

The piece from the Double National Dance Awards nominee was originally due to play to in-person audiences in June 2020.

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Faith has now teamed up with award-winning Big Egg Films to create a stunning multi camera film version of the show.

The film will premiere online via The Barbican on 1 June at 7PM and be available on demand until 6 June before embarking a ‘digital tour’ with runs hosted by Cambridge Junction, Gulbenkian Canterbury, Ipswich Dance East and Harlow Playhouse.

Rhiannon Faith said: “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.”

As well as the film premiere, a live Facebook Q&A will be held after the show with Rhiannon Faith, psychologist Joy Griffiths, selected performers and others. This will be recorded and can also be watched after on demand screenings.

A teaser for the show shares: “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.

“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.”

Performed by a cast of six (Shelley Eva Haden, Donald Hutera, Dom Coffey, Sam Ford, Marla King, Finetta Oliver-Mikolajska) DROWNTOWN 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.

Before creating the show Rhiannon undertook extensive research into areas of social deprivation.

She said: “I visited coastal towns including Jaywick, Clacton-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth. All places with a strong sense of community and identity but also some of the highest levels of social and economic deprivation in the UK. Happy destinations for holiday goers that become full of darkness and degradation when left behind…

“So many communities are broken, people are drowning, so something must be going wrong,. 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.”

Photography © Foteini Christofilopoulou.

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