‘This promenade performance is a ballad of extraordinary visual power.’ Aktivist, Poland
Night is falling. A riotous procession wheels into town. The streets resound with the fury of an avenging crowd, hunting out the fugitive as a young man recants and cries for innocence lost. This is Arquiem: a story of first love, murder ballad and cautionary tale - a powerful outdoor promenade performance inspired by Blake's Songs of Innocence & Experience and Browning's poem Porphyria's Lover.
Periplum’s timeless & moving elegy to the agonies of youth features pulsating live music, stilts, pyrotechnics, acrobatics and beautifully crafted mobile structures. The company use vibrant text and a dynamic visual performance style to tell this simple story of a boy who murders his love to preserve the memory of one moment forever.
Available for UK & international touring. DVD and Promoters’ Pack available on request.
One of The Guardian's Cultural Highlights.
‘An intense nocturnal promenade, making striking use of stilts & pyrotechnics.’
‘Arquiem is a piece crackling with dark energy & many stunning visual moments. The site is used to full advantage – Periplum prove that outdoor theatre is an appropriate medium for dark and thought-provoking work to chilling effect on the senses. Beautifully written & performed. This looks to evolve into a truly great outdoor show.’
‘This promenade performance is a ballad of extraordinary visual power that moves the crowd and grabs the audience in the space of urban night-time procession, colourful mythic desire to stop time and a desire for revenge. The pulsating music, light and spectacular feats of actors explore public space and entertainment as a primal spectacle, involving the spectators as participants.’
‘Terrifying and beautiful at the same time, Arquiem was another outdoor performance presented by the British theatre company Periplum, leading the crowd through the old town alleys. This parade was not possible to watch passively. The journey was very colourful – Periplum Theatre is famous for its powerful and extremely spectacular performances taking place on city streets. So it was that night. Amazing music, light shows, pyrotechnics, spectacular acrobatic stunts. The show, refined in every detail, seized the crowd, which at the end of the show could decide the fate of the man defending himself against the allegations. The British artists pulled vibrant emotions from bystanders - from those gathered in Wroniecka for the performance, drawing more people as they neared the old market – the show was perfectly prepared and presented to leave no one indifferent.’
Moje Miasto, Poland
‘Ever thought of murder? You wanted to kill your mother or father? Or perhaps a brother or sweetheart? – The actors in the play "Arquiem” torment the audience with these questions and move the action and audience from place to place through Wroniecka with masterful text that was very funny in places.’
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
‘The Inside Out programme opened with two stunning performances in Wimborne Minster of Arquiem, a dark folk tale presented by Brighton-based theatre company Periplum. An audience of nearly 1,500 followed the tale of a doomed young man who murders his lover and pays the ultimate price.’
Dorset For You
‘Superb drama & beautifully conceived. A powerful, atmospheric telling of the story of a youth who murdered his love. Chilling & beautiful.’
‘This time the group Periplum invited us to a promenade performance talking about love which is driven to murder. The artists once again led the audience to the spectacle, which will remain long in our memory.’
‘Arquiem is another one of Periplum Theatre Company's timeless and dramatic outdoor site-specific productions. The final image of the boy was beautiful and moving, and the crowd around me took on the mob mentality all too readily - baying for his blood with frightening conviction.’
UK Fringe Review
Site-responsive outdoor night-time theatrical spectacle
Can cover up to 300m flat ground
Flexible - town centres/squares, historic/heritage sites, green spaces. Pyro scenes benefit from architectural backdrop.
Up to 2,000 people depending on site layout, advised ages 8+.
Can be performed in English, Spanish, French, Polish & other languages
Up to 45 minutes
1 x 20’ container or 1 x 7.5t truck
Up to 7 local volunteers
Workshops specialising in site-specific theatre, often lead to exciting public performances.
Full Promoters’ Pack and DVD available on request.
‘I gained insight & inspiration. Thank you so much for the experience.’
Participant, National Theatre 2007
Arquiem offers up to 7 local volunteers the opportunity to train, rehearse & perform with Periplum in a thrilling outdoor promenade production.
Participation is open to adults of all ages & backgrounds. Volunteers receive training in fire, ensemble movement, vocal chorus, character & audience interaction, developing performance skills through this ground-breaking site-responsive work. Students of performance & production especially benefit from experience & insight into innovative staging techniques, whether as a performer or assisting the technical team.
Periplum’s workshops & participatory performances lead to real exchange between the company and local communities.
photo: roy riley
photo: peter tullet
photo: usama shehadeh