Smack That (a conversation) at Salisbury

IF the name Beverly and the word “party” reminds you of the 1977 black comedy Abigail’s Party, think again – the Beverley in Smack That is a very different character, as the audience will discover when the play comes to Salisbury Arts Centre on Tuesday 4th June, as part of Salisbury International Arts Festival.

One in four women experience domestic abuse in their lives. In this original, accessible and empowering piece of dance-theatre, which was first performed at the Barbican, choreographer Rhiannon Faith explores domestic abuse and abusive relationships.

You are invited to Beverly’s party – there will be fun and games, drinks, shared conversations, popcorn and energetic dancing. But there is a darker side and genuine heartbreaking moments as Beverly gives a raw and honest account of surviving an abusive relationship.

Smack That (a conversation) features a female cast of seven who all play Beverly. They are a close-knit group made up of non-performers and experienced dance and theatre artists. Each has her own experience of domestic abuse and conveys the turbulent experiences that Beverly – and the performers – have endured and survived.

Rhiannon says: “The idea for the show has been with me for years from seeing the experiences and hearing the stories from friends and family and others who felt OK talking privately but lacked the confidence to talk publicly about what they had been (or still were) going through. A lot of dance is there to decorate the world, which is lovely but I am more there to change the world. I only make shows if something makes me feel angry.”