“Alan Ayckbourn hopes SF will attract a younger audience.
Alan Ayckbourn’s new play is a science fiction work, set 100 years from now, in an England where a deadly contagion has separated men from women.
‘The Divide‘ is co-produced by the Old Vic and premieres at the Edinburgh International Festival on Friday.
The playwright considers that not enough young people are going to the theatre.”
“The Divide is an extraordinary new work by one of the UK’s greatest storytellers, Alan Ayckbourn.
Unfolding over two parts, The Divide is a tale for our own turbulent times that unflinchingly examines a dystopian society of brutal repression, forbidden love and seething insurrection.
A century from now England is hit by a deadly contagion. Society is decimated as contact between men and women becomes fatal. Under the dictates of an elusive Preacher, an unthinkable solution is enforced. Separated by the Divide, the adult survivors are segregated by gender with men wearing white as a mark of their purity and women – still infected – clothed in black as a sign of their sin.
Decades later, brother and sister Elihu and Soween are growing up learning the ways of their new, tightly controlled society. As they begin to glimpse the cracks in the system, Elihu falls for the daughter of two radical mothers, risking fatal disease and threatening to ignite a bloody revolution. The Divide is a searing vision of a future defined by brutal repression, forbidden love and seething insurrection.
Spread across two separate parts, The Divide is a hugely engaging and constantly surprising story of a society that segregates – but is still recognisable.
Alan Ayckbourn has produced 80 internationally acclaimed stage works including “Absurd Person Singular”, “The Norman Conquests” and “A Chorus of Disapproval”. His plays are regularly performed all over the world, and have been translated into more than 35 languages.
The Divide receives its premiere in a co-production between The Old Vic, London, Edinburgh International Festival and Karl Sydow, directed by Annabel Bolton, an associate director of The Old Vic.