Courageous new writing meets the warmth of a folk gig in this bold & heartfelt fusion of storytelling and original songs. Unravelling the joy and pain of her grandmother’s youth in 1940s Germany, Rowan uncovers an urgent question: can hope for our divisive times be found in the very darkest pockets of history? ”

Dispatches on The Red Dress is Rowan's first solo show: an intimate and adventurous exploration of memory, identity, joy, sorrow, trauma-recovery, bird-song, war and waltzes. Part-memoir, part-folk gig and part-theatre, the show will premiere in 2019, with live dates from June 7th - 22nd. It will then go on to a two week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 15th-26th August. 

Rowan's first solo album, a companion to the live show, will be released in August 2019, produced by Andy Bell (Jon Boden, Karine Polwart). 

The development of the album and the show, in collaboration with script co-writer and dramaturg Liam Hurley (Karine Polwart's Wind Resistance) has been supported by grants from PRS Foundation, Arts Council England and EFDSS.

Dispatches on the Red Dress circles around me and my grandmother, as we talk across time and space. It is a song cycle which is all about the power and peace-making potential of telling different kinds of stories... ”

— Rowan Rheingans

Audience responses to Dispatches on the Red Dress:

“...beautiful, creative, engaging way of exploring past present and future. Loved the intimacy I felt, the humanity. Loved the picture painted. Really moving. Thankyou” 

“...very moved by this performance especially the resonance with today. When you speak of seeing her reflection with the flames behind, I couldn't hold back the tears. Thankyou for the care and craft you have taken to weave this story and share with us” 

“beautiful piece - structure was near perfect, as was the pace. There was a point (maybe more than one) where it nearly made me cry - but in a good way?” 

“... I loved the show... the beauty recovered from the everyday, the agony of lives lived and remembered, and lives lived now! I loved the flow between song, more formal storytelling & less formal storytelling. As a format it worked beautifully for me. Very powerful. Wonderful. Moving” 

“A masterful piece of storytelling!! And god knows, the world needs stories!!!"