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The Cult of Water - David Bramwell


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Combining music, animation and film with a captivating monologue, David Bramwell takes audiences on a dream-like journey in search of the occult secrets of our waterways and a drowned village, which has long haunted his memories.

From Doncaster (where he grew up) Bramwell travels up the river Don and back in time, through the ladybird plague and drought of 1976 to the heavily polluted Don of Sheffield’s steel industry, up into the Pennines and back into a pre-Christian era when rivers and springs were worshipped as living deities.

Along the journey Bramwell battles with his own thalassophobia (the fear of ‘what lurks beneath’); learns about hydromancy from magician Alan Moore, discovers a unique forest of figs growing on the banks of the Don and encounters Jarvis Cocker on his own adventures, sailing down the Don on an inflatable inner tube.

His journey finally brings him face to face with the goddess of primordial waters, Danu, who gave her name to the Don.

The story climaxes in Hastings, with the remarkable discovery of an ancient spring and how it came to save the life of a dying man.

At heart this is a meditation on the symbolic power of rivers and inland waterways and the profound ways in which they affect our sense of well-being.

As a special Hastings feature of this performance, we shall begin at the Mock Roman Bath in Summerfields Woods for a well-dressing ceremony, with ritual spring music performed by The Sound of Bailey. We invite attendees to bring flowers to dedicate to the spirits of the spring.