Declan

Vulnerability and sexual awakening go hand in hand in Declan, an unnerving one-man play set in rural Wiltshire.

An unnerving one-man play about sexual discovery and past trauma

From the very start, it’s clear that Declan is not a light-hearted story of sexual discovery. The stage is led bare but for a plastic shopping bag and one low-wattage bulb, under which our muddied main character bobs in and out of view, battling visions of his past.

Jimbo’s intense energy coupled with his childlike puzzlement makes for a charged viewing experience, played to perfection in a lilting Wiltshire accent by writer-performer Alistair Hall.

Dressed in a stained white t-shirt, Jimbo spills all about his fragmented sexual experiences, exploring the shame and confusion of his childhood through extended monologue. If at times the format runs a little dry, the intimate storytelling ability of Hall carries it through.

The entire tale is told through the naïve lens of Jimbo who frets and grasps for clarity amidst flashbacks of pained experiences with an abusive father and avoidant mother. Jimbo’s world stretches no further than Swindon, or possibly Bristol, conveying the trappings of rural life.

Shame and judgment haunt Jimbo and as he grapples with ghosts, trying to figure out what happened to his best friend Declan years ago. And though there may not be a neatly tied conclusion, in telling his own story, Jimbo learns to trust his own judgment even if that means placing blame at the foot of his family.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

“Compelling... Vividly performed” (Guardian). 'An electric performance' **** (TheReviewsHub.com). A hallucinatory tale of isolation and sexual discovery in rural Wiltshire. Declan makes its Fringe debut after gripping viewers online during lockdown. As childlike outsider Jimbo recalls the disappearance of his friend Declan, he is haunted by ghosts of the past and present. With a hazy grasp on reality, Jimbo searches through his fractured town for Declan – and along the way makes troubling discoveries about his own childhood. Written and performed by Alistair Hall. Directed by Billy Barrett of Breach Theatre.

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