Award winning writer of ‘Jerusalem’, Jez Butterworth’s ‘THE RIVER’, produced by Red Oak Theatre, will take place at Bristol’s iconic underground cavernous venue The Loco Klub, one of Bristol’s most exciting and intriguing new theatre spaces.


The chasmal space of the Ash pits under Temple meads station will be transformed through innovative set design from up and coming designer April Dalton (New English Ballet, Welsh National Opera, Sadlers Wells Theatre), using water – scattered in containers around the stage area – along with a multidimensional wooden structure, the theatre space will enable just 40 audience members to feel as if they are floating through an underwater tunnel. This, coupled with eerily simplistic sound design from Yuan Hu, along with intricate lighting design from Ryan Joseph Stafford will create an atmospheric effect sure to capture the imagination of all present.


Artistic Director of Red Oak theatre and ‘The River’ Director Matt Holmquist (Welsh National Opera; ‘Le Vin Hebré‘ Staff Director, Sadlers Wells; ‘Simplicus Simplicissimus’ AD, Theatre Clywd; ‘Insignificance’ AD) is eager to meld these two elements of design with the fantastic script from Butterworth (which premiered at The Royal Court in 2012), creating a piece of theatre not to be missed.


The story follows a young man who brings his new girlfriend to the remote family cabin where he has come for the fly-fishing since he was a boy. The audience is lead to believe for a time that he has never brought anyone here before, and we watch the duo’s relationship unfold. Things soon change as we realise that she is not the first,  through the introduction of a second female character who lives through the story as if in a different time. It is clear that something happened here, and one of these girls  may have the answer.


Combining a beautifully poetic text with the phenomenal acting talents of (L-R on image) Olivia Elsden, Jack Hammett, (Both Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduates), and Katherine Stevens (Exeter University graduate), Red Oak Theatre invites you to step into the theatrical event of the season in Bristol. ‘The River’ upholds Red Oak’s reputation as an exciting young company creating and making interesting and engaging work based heavily in the South West (Bristol and Cardiff), after their ground-breaking debut piece ‘We Had A Black Dog’ premiered at Bred in the Bone Festival, Paris earlier this year.


“Emotionally wired and deeply poetic…magical, bucolic, gothic and even sacramental…This is plainly the best new play in town.” The Stage on 2012 Royal Court production.

“The River” by Jez Butterworth.
Produced by Red Oak Theatre company in agreement with Nick Hern Books, at The Loco Klub – 8pm; 15th, 16th, 17th Sept (85 minutes no interval)

Tickets: £10 (£8 concs) or 0117 902 0344