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Lay Down Your Burdens

Rhiannon Faith Company

A person in a white dress dances next to a person playing the violin. They are in a dark space, dressed up like a pub with wooden tables and chairs and a red carpet.

Restore your weary soul with this radically tender dance theatre premiere that invites you to explore the beauty of humanity and the eternal need for community and compassion.

Step into an evening at the local pub, like no other. Every night the same landlady, the same regulars, the same shots, until suddenly a stranger gets blown in from the cold. 

With extraordinary physical performance, brave testimonials, live music and riotous pub games, this visceral dance theatre world draws together those who have been estranged or never even dreamed they were connected. Set in a pub on-stage, you're invited to join in with the proceedings and participate in the fun and revelry, as much as you like.

Choreographer Rhiannon Faith makes socially conscious work that raises awareness and lobbies for change. Lay Down Your Burdens was grown out of conversations with communities, and developed from real-life experiences of the company. Their work gives you space to consider the meaning and importance of community.

Running time: 2 hours, including an interval

Age guidance: 16+

This production contains haze and content which includes adult language and explores themes of grief, serious illness and personal suffering.

For more information about the themes in this show, see our Content Advice and Resources webpage.

At this performance there is a combination of bar stool seating (close to the action), chairs with a back and wheelchair spaces with accompanying companion seats. Seating is allocated on a first-come first-served basis. If you have any concerns, please speak to a member of our front of house team upon arrival. 

Audience participation 
At points during the performance, audience members will be invited to participate. This is completely voluntary, and we ask you to only share what you're comfortable with. These words will be recorded as part of the show and these recordings may be used in the future for Rhiannon Faith Company’s work. If you would like to know more please speak to a member of staff. 

Members' pre-show talk, Thu 23 Nov
Free tickets for Members. Book here.

Post-show talk, Fri 24 Nov
Free to same-day ticket holders

Relaxed performances
All performances are relaxed. Find out more here

Find out more about Accessible Events at the Barbican.


Presented by the Barbican.

Co-commissioned by Barbican, London and Harlow Playhouse. With support from Oxford Playhouse, Déda, and South East Dance. Funded using public money from Arts Council England. With thanks to Restoke and the Lay Down Your Burdens Creative Friends.

‘Choreographer Rhiannon Faith is one of the few UK artists making dance theatre that is pointedly socially conscious‘
‘A rallying cry for more care and compassion in a society awash with grief, anxiety and loneliness‘
The Reviews Hub on Drowntown


Relaxed performances

A Relaxed performance is ideal for those who would benefit from a more informal approach to noise and movement in the auditorium, or would feel more at ease knowing they could enter and exit freely.

For this production:

  • A member of the company will lead a pre-show welcome talk.
  • The Front of House team are briefed on providing an more informal service and relaxing the standards in regard to audience behaviour during the performance.
  • Latecomer and re-admittance points will be relaxed so you can leave and re-enter the auditorium more freely.
  • The house lights will remain slightly raised during the performance to ensure your safety if you need to move about.
  • Auditorium doors will be kept open during the performance to assist you in entering and exiting the theatre during the performance.
  • The performers are briefed about Relaxed performances, and know that you may need to move around and make noise.
  • A quiet chill out space is provided with comfortable seating.

Please be aware the performers may talk to you during the show or ask you to participate by playing a game or speaking into the microphone. If you aren't comfortable with this you can just say 'no thank you' or choose a seat further back from the stage.

This performance has not been sensory adapted. Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss further before making a booking.  Contact the Theatre team at [email protected].

Take a look at our Accessible Events page to find out more about the accessibility of our venues.

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