‘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.

Creation and touring funded by Arts Council England. Commissioned by Made in Brighton, Winchester Hat Fair and South Hill Park Arts Centre.


One of The Guardian's Cultural Highlights.

‘An intense nocturnal promenade, making striking use of stilts & pyrotechnics.’
The Independent

‘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.’
Total Theatre

‘This promenade performance is a ballad of extraordinary visual power that grabs and moves the audience through the urban space. The pulsating music and spectacular feats of actors explore public space and entertainment as a primal spectacle, involving the spectators as participants.’
Aktivist, Poland

‘Amazing music, light shows, pyrotechnics, and spectacular acrobatic stunts. Terrifying and beautiful at the same time, Arquiem led the crowd through the old town alleys. The show, refined in every detail, seized the crowd, which at the end of the show could decide the fate of the protagonist. The British artists pulled vibrant emotions from the audience. The show was perfectly created and presented to leave no one indifferent.’
Moje Miasto, 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.’
Harrogate Today