Reverence: a tale of Abelard and Heloise

A site-sympathetic and promenade production in Southwark playhouse and the empty railway tunnels beyond.
Deep beneath London Bridge Station, in the blackened heart of catacombs long forgotten, by the frail light of one hundred broken bulbs, shadowy figures lurched from the gloom to enact an ancient tragedy, the tale of Abelard and his Heloise... 
“Then there is no more left than this...”
  • Director: Joel Scott
    Writer: Gillian Clarke
    Designers: Patrick Burnier and Anna Nicole Jones
    Lighting Designer: Daniel Large
    Sound Designer: Becky Smith
    Costume Supervisor: Bryony Fayers
    Photography by: Sam Holden


'The entire show drips with forbidden desires, sexual jealousy, religious repression, and blood...Director Joel Scott plays with us, creating moments of disorientation that cow us into submission but also gives us brilliant images that give distance and perspective. None is more beautiful or desolate than our final glimpse of the lovers - theatre's equivalent of a lingering long shot, which has the broken and bloody Abelard and the unreachable Heloise separated by a field of poppies.'
The Guardian LYN GARDNER
From Radio 4 - Saturday Review
'Very intimate and beautiful.' SARFRAZ MANZOOR.
'Really tremendously powerful.' MICHAEL ARDITTI 
'Absolutely brilliant set pieces... It was a really great experience.' SARAH DUNANT 
'I just loved the whole immersion into it, and the feeling that we became the students. We were being shouted at and herded along, it was all kind of terrifying in a lovely way.' KAMILA SHAMSIE
'An impressive launch for the new Southwark Playhouse and will surely prove popular with those theatregoers who seek experiences more than plays.'
Time Out Critics Choice JANE EDWARDES
'...the vicious momentum of Abelard and Heloise's violent persecution by an enemy within reaps rich dramatic rewards.'
'...As we wander rapt through cavernous vaults in this promenade performance, we are not just an audience, but religious novices, peering fearfully into the gloom. The lovers’ tragedy is not remote, but a trauma shaking our own community...'

Supported by: Arts Council England, Southwark Playhouse, London Metropolitan University.