Sing, River

The magic and mystery of midsummer combine with things past and present in Sing, River, written and performed by Nathaniel Jones of Love Song Productions at the Pleasance Courtyard.

A work of folkloric wonder, that turns broad ideas into intimate reflections

The theatre company is a collective of ‘young, queer creatives, that puts innovative storytelling and character-driven writing at the heart of their work’, which makes Sing, River a fine example of what they hope to achieve. With sylph-like delicacy Jones uses a symphony of gestures to invoke the gods of ancient Britain and the spirts that inhabit the bed of the River Thames and softly begins to sing a tale of ancient mythology; of kings and gods. Composer Faye James has written in a suitably ethereal style that has an air of mediaeval folk music to it. Jones delivers beautifully.

This element of the play is interwoven with a modern story of love and abuse; a memory play in which Jones ponders the unnamed character’s past through the ritual of sacrificing items in order to release the ties and move on. But that is easier said the done. The darkness lingers and recollections haunt; times that might have seemed good are shrouded in a cloud hurt and distaste. The blending of these two stories provides a moving and fascinating take on a topic that has been visited many times but usually in a far more blunt and aggressive manner.

There is none of that Katie Kirkpatrick directed with marked by great sensitivity and spatial awareness to create a play that flows as effortlessly as the river itself. Between them, they create a work of folkloric wonder, that turns broad ideas into intimate reflections.

As Shakespeare’s discovered, the associations that the midsummer solstice bring to mind allow for the exploration of themes from a very special perspective, and this production fully exploits those opportunities.

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Reviews by Richard Beck

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The Blurb

Are you ready to be swallowed into the depths of the Thames? Midsummer comes but once a year. Weaving together an original folk score and tales from a romance best forgotten, Sing, River invites us into the hidden world of British mythology. Join us on the riverbed for a queer solo show by Nathaniel Jones, exploring the act of severing yourself from dark memories in order to survive. 'Vital, engaging, and experimental' ( 'Inventive, unique' **** ( 'A beautiful and thought-provoking experience' ( 'A joy to watch' (

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