FIRST LOOK: The Divide at The Old Vic
The Divide, a new play by Alan Ayckbourn, is a tale that unflinchingly explores a dystopian society of repression, insurrection and forbidden love. The show, presented in two parts, is directed by Annabel Bolton, an Associate Director of The Old Vic.
The Divide is set in the aftermath of a deadly contagion which, a century from now, has decimated the English population and rendered contact between men and women fatal. Under the dictates of an elusive Preacher, an unthinkable solution is enforced. Separated by the Divide, the adult survivors are segregated by gender, as men wear white as a mark of their purity, and women – still infected – are clothed in black as a sign of their sin.
Brother and sister Elihu (Jake Davies) and Soween (Erin Doherty) grow up learning the ways of their tightly controlled society. As they begin to glimpse the cracks in the system, Elihu falls for Giella (Weruche Opia), the daughter of two radical mothers, risking fatal disease and threatening to ignite a bloody revolution. The Divide is a vision of a dystopian future defined by brutal repression and forbidden love.
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Photos by Manuel Harlan