Theatre/Dance Production At Barbican Shines A Light On Domestic Abuse

Theatre/Dance Production At Barbican Shines A Light On Domestic Abuse

Original, accessible and empowering new show from endlessly inventive choreographer Rhiannon Faith runs for 5 days (12-16 June) as part of the Barbican's Art of Change season (also selected tour dates).

Meet Beverly. You're invited to her party. Like most parties there'll be fun and games, drinks, shared conversations and energetic dancing. But at Beverly's party there will also be genuine heartbreaking moments as Beverly bravely gives a raw and honest account of surviving an abusive relationship.

Smack That (a conversation) is the new show from endlessly inventive theatremaker and choreographer Rhiannon Faith. It shines a light on the complex subject of domestic abuse featuring an all female cast of seven, a close-knit group made up of non-performers and experienced dance and theatre artists. They all have their own personal experience of abuse and as each one fearlessly becomes Beverly they convey the turbulent, real life experiences of domestic abuse she, and they, have endured and survived. The party setting creates a safe space for them to reveal the challenges they have faced and to celebrate their endurance with the audience.

As part of the Art of Change season Smack That (a conversation) runs from 12-16 June at London's Barbican Centre. It also tours to Halifax, Ipswich, and Doncaster.

Stories of abuse intertwine with party games and energetic dance routines to create a powerful, moving and unashamedly entertaining piece of theatre. The fun, upbeat party setting allows these voices to be heard without prejudice and where marshmallows and party poppers readily mix with refuge contact information.

Rhiannon said 'The idea for the show has been with me for years from seeing the experiences and hearing the stories from friends and family and others who felt OK talking privately but lacked the confidence to talk publicly about what they had been (or still were) going through'.

Crucially, Smack That (a conversation) is based on authentic stories told through the voices of survivors of domestic violence and abuse. It seeks to raise awareness of domestic abuse and move the conversations from private to public.

The show is designed to support women and encourage them to talk openly about their experiences. It is underpinned by Rhiannon's work with a support group at Safer Places, the independent charity that provides services to adults and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

In the UK police receive a complaint about domestic violence every 60 seconds.

One in four women experience domestic abuse in their lives.

On average a woman is assaulted 35 times before she receives help.

750,000 UK children witness domestic abuse or violence each year.

The impact of domestic violence costs the UK £15.7 billion annually.

In England and Wales one woman is killed by their partner, or ex-partner, every three days.

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