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Plus a special Q&A on London’s lost rivers with folklorist Chris Roberts
Combining music, animation and archive film with a captivating monologue, David Bramwell takes audiences on a dreamy candle-lit journey, in search of the supernatural secrets of our rivers, and a drowned village which has long haunted his memories.
From Doncaster (where he grew up) Bramwell travels up the river Don and back in time, through the ladybird plague and drought of 1976 to the heavily polluted Don of Sheffield’s steel industry, up into the Pennines and back into a pre-Christian era when rivers and springs were worshipped as living deities.
Along the journey Bramwell battles with his own thalassophobia (the fear of ‘what lurks beneath’); learns about hydromancy from magician Alan Moore, discovers a unique forest of figs growing on the banks of the Don and encounters Jarvis Cocker on his own adventures, sailing down the Don on an inflatable inner tube.
His journey finally brings him face to face with the goddess of primordial waters, Danu, who gave her name to the Don.
While using the Don as the focal point for a psycho-geographical journey, at heart this is a meditation on the symbolic power of rivers and inland waterways and the profound ways in which they affect our sense of well-being.
Especially for the Soho Theatre, David will be joined at the end of the show by London folklorist, author and tour guide, Chris Roberts, to discuss the Fleet, Effra, Tyburn and other lost rivers of the city.
Directed by Daisy Campbell.
David Bramwell is a Sony-Award winning presenter for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, having made programmes on subjects ranging from Ivor Cutler to time travel. He has won awards for ‘outstanding theatre’ and ‘best comedy’ for his one-man shows and is the author of The Haunted Moustache, The No9 Bus to Utopia and The Odditorium.
Chris Roberts gives tours and lectures about London, it’s rivers, myths and bridges. He wrote Cross River Traffic –a history of London’s Bridges- and is responsible for the resurrection of the Penny Dreadful in the form of One Eye Grey which retold old London legends in the 21st Century. He swims all year in the healing waters of Brockwell Lido.
‘A transcendent performance.'
‘A masterful storyteller.’