This is the London theatre show to book this weekend

The Words are There is our London theatre show to book. It plays at The Hope Theatre until 25 November

This show is a real talking point: domestic abuse towards men from women is a subject not examined enough on the London stage, and yet the gender gulf when it comes to abuse in the home isn’t as wide as you’d think. One in 6 men are a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime compared to one in four women. 

Ronan Dempsey’s ambitious piece, called The Words are There, examines the mental health repercussions of abuse over a fifteen-year relationship. It’s a gripping and intense evening at the theatre with some crafty devices that seriously impress.

Written and performed by the Irish performer, most of The Words are There is held together by mime work and impressively choreographed physical theatre, with sonic backdrops. We see Dempsey being verbally abused by his girlfriend in a small, untidy flat where there is nowhere to hide. When she falls to the floor you crane your neck to see the reaction on her face but there’s one twist: she is played by a mop.

Dempsey cleverly personifies the mop head, even doing her hair and clothing her, in a way that feels both novel and totally sweet. Domestic abuse, of course, is often publicly silent: only viewable to the victim and perpetrator. In a way, Trisha can’t be seen either: but she can be thoroughly felt. Dempsey is particularly good with his eyes, capturing in elongated glances the terror and confusion of a well-meaning man forced through hell. A thrilling piece of fringe theatre.

Buy tickets online

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