Declining Solo

Declining Solo is about the relationship between a father and daughter, between a person and their culture. It’s about migration and home and what it means to belong in a place. It’s about who we are.

Combining text with choreography, video and specially commissioned music, Declining Solo invites you inside one woman’s memories of the family home where she grew up. Populated by stories of communism, war, merriment and family, she shapes a world from paper and projection as she seeks the father she has lost.

Memories, folklore, political turmoil and family history combine in a celebration of life and our shared stories.

Responses to the work

Radeva is an absorbing performer, whether rattling off a string of old Communist jokes or pausing in the midst of a euphoric dance to flash a wry smile at the audience. Lownie, meanwhile, haunts the space, reciting Radeva’s fragmentary recollections.

—The Stage

A beautiful, brave piece of work steeped in memories and nostalgia. A deft use of paper, coal, projection and roasting peppers to conjure a lost past, a fast-fading culture, and a lost father. A multi-layered show, disarmingly honest in its choices, that doesn’t shy away from sentimentality or simple truths to convey a sense of longing and a craving to belong.

Cheryl Pierce, Director, Quarterhouse

Complex, tender work … Declining Solo uses all the senses to draw us in.

audience member, Folkestone

Impressive architectural structures that reflect the content of the text […] a universally recognisable sense of yearning for home.

—The Stage

Declining Solo was for me a beautiful, bewildering, eviscerating, exhilarating, unique, soulful, healing experience. Visually and poetically, choreographically and musically tender, a fierce feast filled with longing, completely unforgettable

—audience member, Salisbury

Moving, mesmerising, emotional, thought-provoking. What an artistically fascinating use of paper! Lighting, colour and pattern effects just so interesting. Great story telling and dance movement. Thank you.

—audience member, Salisbury

Declining Solo was one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen. Extraordinary – bravo!

—Tom Campbell

purely enjoyable and unique experience

—audience member, Salford

Visually creative, evocative. Deeply personal. I enjoyed it very much.

—audience member, Salford

deffo would recommend

—audience member, Salford


Written, designed, devised, performed and produced by Two Destination Language’s Alister Lownie and Katherina Radeva
Music Tim Blazdell
Lighting Vince Field
Choreographed with Robbie Synge

Research and development for Declining Solo was made possible by funding from Arts Council England and Dance4, with support from a range of partners: ARC StocktonQuarterhouseSPAM!Salisbury Arts Centre, and The Point Eastleigh hosted residencies.

Dusty hands in Declining Solo
Photo: Alex Brenner

Performance History


  • The Lowry, Salford Quays, 8th November
  • Salisbury Playhouse, 2nd-4th November
  • Edge Hill Arts, 31 October
  • Derby Theatre, 20th July
  • ARC Stockton, 15th June
  • Jacksons Lane, London, 6-7th June
  • Quarterhouse, Folkestone, 29th April

2016: works-in-progress

  • BE fest, Birmingham
  • Camden Peoples Theatre
  • The Point Eastleigh
  • ARC Stockton
  • Salisbury Arts Centre