Punchdrunk Theatre Company Makes Mysterious Return To London

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The nomadic theatre production group Punchdrunk is returning six years after those who played in its last show wandered the Battersea Arts Centre in its last performance.

It’s been a long search for a new location for the production since then, but artistic director Felix Barrett has finally found one in the centre of London for play The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable although he’s kept the identity of it shrouded in secrecy. He described that the building was “disused, versatile and currently very, very cold”. It’s the third attempt that they’ve had at getting the play going again, with locations struggling to be found, and it’s taken another three years to put on the production following that.

“Once a building hasn’t been used for a few years, the ghosts that echo around the walls make themselves present. This space is loaded with stories in the cracks of the walls,” Barrett said to The Independent. “It has a melancholy and a mystery to it that sits with Buchner’s visceral atmosphere.” Returning his attention to finding a location, Barrett commented that it had been a big hurdle to find a suitable setting for the gothic play. “Without a building there is no show” he said. “The architecture dictates what goes on inside it.” He continued: “London is such a jam-packed, swollen metropolis with every inch used. It’s very rare to find empty space that is up for being used creatively that is any size at all.”


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