Words: Natasha Chanse
The river as metaphor for time’s resolute passing has long been used as a tool for self-exploration in folklore. Love Song Productions’ solo lead performer, Nathanial Jones, sits by the riverbed at night, pulling at the threads of memory until they unravel into a dawning realisation of a past, abusive, relationship.
The setting is intimate, witnessed only through candlelight and cosy fairy lights, creating a secret, moss-covered window unto a psyche in transformation. The fickle haziness of memory, the trickery of youthful eyes in love, the synergy of the past and present in the formation of identity; such are the themes that are explored in this hour-long fusion of song, prosaic monologue and verse.
Jones’ tonal sweetness never faulters, but their message flows into the deep, dark waters of consent and exploitation. The experience is, however, gentle and inclusive for the audience. The sharp details are not provided, allowing the memories to present themselves like debris in water – to be picked up and examined if desired.
What demands to be felt, however, is the overarching question of the show; to find peace, should we alchemise dark memories into light and live in a world of our own making? To that question, the river answers that there can be no light without darkness; it is only by embracing the night that we enter the dawn.
Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker One
10-15, 17-22, 24-27