The River
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Hannah Ellis Ryan's face faded into water

Elysium Theatre presents

The River

by Jez Butterworth

directed by Jake Murray

performed by Danny Solomon, Hannah Ellis Ryan and Lois Mackie

Not the first Elysium play, but the first Elysium Theatre play I was involved in, and also the first Elysium Theatre play at the City Theatre in Durham, at the time my main haunt. One thing I swiftly learned about small theatres is that the real power is held by the person who knows what all the switches do. (I was also officially the lighting designer for this, although in practice that was more of a three-way job, which my principal role being the one who knows the way round the lighting rig. Music was written by Emily Winters and sung by Laura Littlewood.)

It's one of Jez Butterworth's best known works, and surprisingly difficult to get performing rights to. Also a surprisingly little agreement about what the play is about. I'd say it's about a guy who has a idyllic shack near and idyllic river whose relationships are all doomed by a futile quest for an identical replacement for a lost love he considered perfect - but everybody else seems to have their own contradictory interpretation. But I guess that's the appeal of this.

Anyway, this was a breakthrough moment for me, getting myself established in Elysium Theatre as one of their main sound designers, and later as one of their writers.


City Theatre, Durham: 29th November - 1st December 2018

Queen's Hall, Hexham: 5th December 2019

Sound operated by me throughout run.

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