You Are Going To Die

You Are Going To Die is a one man show which pushes the boundaries of modern theatre and what it can be.

As the audience enter the intimate studio space in the venue, Southwark Playhouse Borough, performer and creator of the piece Adam Scott-Rowley is sitting in the middle of the space on a toilet, dimly lit, completely nude, save for some painted markings over his body.

This piece is surreal, thought-provoking and hilarious. There are many ‘characters’ through the 60 minute piece, all of whom we grow to love and empathise with. Adam has a wonderful physicality and uses his body beautifully to portray feelings, thoughts and actions throughout.

At times the piece feels more like performance art, with lighting design by Matt Cater being used to enhance the movement and storytelling. There is a clever use of shadow which feels intentional and impactful to add another dimension to the more powerful movement sections.

I could not be clear if there is a story per se – but it feels as though the common thread over the piece is anxiety and the existential dread humans hold over death and change. Even in the lighter moments, you can feel some tension which is portrayed in Adams physicality and vocal performance too.

There are twists and turns aplenty over the course of the evening, from one character being stuck in a well to another discovering self care but maybe taking it a little too far in a very humorous way. The audience are on board from the start and though at times it’s a tough watch, the piece invites us to sit in our uncomfortable feelings and to turn towards our pain which although not easy, feels easier after watching this show. We finish on a high with a hilarious audience sing-along which will leave you humming the tune composed by Phil McDonnell all evening long!

I had concerns that the piece was being performed completely in the nude with no purpose other than to shock the audience and would not add anything to the performance. I was however happy to see that there is a point and it gives the viewer the opportunity to see the incredible physicality of Adam and the way he transforms his body to portray the different characters of the piece.

This is not a piece for everyone, it is dark, intense and at times, uncomfortable. It’s absolutely insane but kind of brilliant also!

This show was reviewed on the 22nd April 2024 at Southwark Playhouse Borough where it runs until the 4th May 2024.  Tickets available here: You Are Going To Die - Southwark Playhouse

Review written by Rosie Browne


Photo credit: Ryan Buchanan

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