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  • Kate Gaul

Creekshow - Edinburgh Fringe 2023



Writer and performer Jenny Witzel and director Luke Lewin Davies have created a haunting, lyrical and mesmerising elegy to the once vital and now disappearing waterfront of Deptford in South-East London. This is a story of a suburb questioning regeneration and its inevitable gentrification. Importantly “Creekshow” is a protest against raging capitalism and the real cost-of-living crisis. It is a great example of high-quality small-scale theatre which packs a political punch, and a call to action. Presented in the gorgeous Zoo Southside Studio this is an unexpected gem and not to be missed.


While living on a houseboat in Deptford during the pandemic years, Witzel discovers a vibrant and resonant history of her new home. She mudlarks for pieces of history and actively joins social groups to discover more about the stories that make up a community. When we enter the space there is an incredible mash up of recorded interviews and one that really sticks with me is the story told by a woman of finding a man (presumably tipsy) who has fallen into the river at night. This was an incident before mobile phones. I was hooked! The entire piece is sensitively underscored by Calum Perrin.


“Creekshow” is an enthralling multimedia exploration of a place transformed beyond recognition. Witzel is a gentle presence and treats her audience with the same care as she does the found items she has on loan – a toy car, an old VHS tape, a beautiful shoe from the period of the industrial revolution. Each holds it unique story and from that story many other stories grow. We get the chance to examine these relics through the use of her camera and projections. Spoken word supports these lost and found again narratives. What of the current threats to citizens in this area of once social and low-cost housing? What ofdevelopers drawn to the waterside who then build in ways that destroy the very thing that attracted them? These notions resonate strongly everywhere but “Creekshow” allows us a special window into a part of London and by association, beyond.


Kate Gaul

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