Battersea Arts Centre, London
Created and performed by Heather Agyepong
Dramaturg and Co-Creator Gail Babb
Movement Director and Co-Creator Imogen Knight
Heather Agyepong's one-woman show The Body Remembers takes the audience on a visceral journey that witnesses the expression of internalised trauma and healing through the improvised movements of Agyepong's body. Set to a soundscape of personal testimony from black British women, the play is an exploration of their experience of trauma and how this is manifest and held in their body.
Agyepong encourages the audience to engage with their own bodily experience. To to their breathing, to begin to notice and be aware of the impact of her performance on their body and the meaning that this might have for us individually.
The personal testimonies are given without naming the context of their trauma, lending a powerful edge to the listeners' experience. The narratives of these women tells of their experience of carrying trauma in their bodies and how they wear it in their worlds. Often misunderstood, misdiagnosed or not believed by the medical profession or the people they turned to for help, Agyepong hears, sees and tells.
In her concluding scene Agyepong departs the stage leaving a carefully constructed array of objects including soft toys, therapeutic texts, a yoga mat and homeopathic medications to calm the body and the mind.
Lasting for 45 minutes, this is a thought provoking and evocative piece of theatre.
Runs until 4th November
Photo credit: Myer Jeffers
Reviewed by Lucy Bex