Carbon Theatre's When We Died, written, and performed by Alexandra Donnachie, is an empathetic monologue exploring a story of inexplicable human behaviour and the crushing consequences.
Donnachie, directed by Andy Routledge, plays a woman confronted by her rapist when his body is transferred to her unit for embalming. The story cleverly works the horrifying description of how she was first introduced to and followed by her attacker, whilst interjecting with the tricks of the trade should you ever find yourself in need of embalming a body...
The creative team worked alongside Trauma Consultant Dr. Julia Langley and Serenity a sexual assault referral center ensuring a sensitive and healthy dramatization of rape and its consequences. This is also explicitly signposted on the program to notify that ‘There is no graphic detail of sexual violence...
Working with experienced professionals also helped [them] to ensure [they] don't feed into rape culture or support widely held rape myths, especially as this isn't an autobiographical show'.
Donnachie's performance perfectly places the horrifying content of their writing while retaining the intimate connection and complete attention of the captivated audience. Donnachie immediately creates a comfortable environment as they confidently take command of the space with clarity and purpose without alienating us from the challenging content.
The whole team involved have created a piece of conscious writing of intrinsic value that can hopefully reach a wider audience.
Review: Sebastian Calver Photo: Ali Wright