“The Divide: Part 2” by Alan Ayckbourn @edtheatres
6 hours have passed and it’s time to pass judgment. “The Divide” fails on almost all fronts. Though I love epic performances, this show is clearly too long and lacking in originality.
The acting is superb – especially Clare Burt as Soween stands out with her childlike vulnerability and desperation. The production is equally amazing with digital layers covering sets in quick succession. The soundscape (performed live!) composed by Christopher Nightingale is beautiful. The story however…. Ayckbourn has clearly found inspiration in orthodox Judaism (the idea of women being impure) and Islam (the cloaking of women) in the portrait of gender norms and he finds a certain glee in turning sexuality upside down. However we have the incredible “Handmaid’s tale” by Margaret Atwood and great dystopian novels like “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. This play – which incidentally feels more like a novel – adds very little. Not enough to be honest. Too much is addressed to the audience instead of shown in a purely theatrical way. The story is too linear. It’s like watching a TV show to be honest. The magic of theatre is missing.
Writer: Alan Ayckbourn
Director :Annabel Bolton
Cast includes Clare Burt, Jake Davies, Erin Doherty, Thusitha Jayasundera, Richard Katz, Sophie Melville, Joanne McGuinness, Clare Lawrence Moody, Weruche Opia, Martin Quinn, Letty Thomas, Finty Williams
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