May 16, 2023
Drowntown, by Rhiannon Faith,is a thought-provoking dance theatre production that explores themes of loneliness, anxiety, desperation, helplessness and suicide. The show introduces many interesting elements that mirror society without fear of being brutally honest.
Six strangers are left on an island with nothing but one another, their thoughts and worries. Many times, their despair makes them go near the shore, to the deep sea that calls them in. They battle with that desire and try to stay on land; try to stay sane and safe. They try very hard.
Each character portrays a different story, but they are all quite familiar and relatable. While some of them are quiet and rely on movement to tell their story, others are much more powerful in the use of dialogue, or make use of both.
The highlight of the work is the expressive way in which emotions are conveyed in rough and explosive choreography that depicts real life situations of distress, panic attacks and desperation. It is all done so well; the perfect representation of emotions felt deep inside. The lightning and music is excellent too, and plays a huge part in setting the environment for each scene.
The choreography mixes excellent contemporary floorwork with speech and many other interesting elements and props. These include dark-coloured sand, a bag filled with dark liquid that each character carries around and a board they dance on. Each character’s clothes are used in a very innovative ways to help carry the story and make it more impactful.
Particularly fascinating is the used they make of an on-stage phone booth. It allows them to introduce a voice-only character who communicates with the others while presenting that very familiar situation of frustration and self-doubt while filling a form.
But, ultimately, Drowntown moves those watching because of the powerful emotions portrayed by the dancers and actors; their humanity, their interactions with one and other and the familiarity of the story that they paint for us. It is, indeed, an evening to enjoy, but also one to re-evaluate the state and morals of our society.
Drowntown continues on tour. Visit www.rhiannonfaith.com for dates and venues.