The Divide Part 1 at Old Vic Theatre tickets
The Divide Part 1 at Old Vic Theatre tickets

The Divide Part 1 has closed

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Overview

Alan Ayckbourn’s epic new play, The Divide comes to the Old Vic stage in an incredible double-bill performance from February 2018. The Divide Part 1 is the first section of Ayckbourn’s grand dystopic narrative through which the Old Vic’s Associate Director Annabel Bolton explores the play’s dark, labyrinthine themes of repression, insurrection and forbidden love.

Set in a future dystopian society, the The Divide follows in the wake of a deadly contagion which has decimated the English population and rendered contact between men and women lethal. Through the twisted preaching of a mysterious pastor, a hereto unthinkable solution is reached – the total gender segregation of the survivors.

Brother and sister, Elihu and Soween, raised in the repressive society begin witnessing the cracks in the brutal regime. A forbidden love affair arises as between Elihu and the daughter of two activist mothers, threatening to provoke a bloody revolution.

The Divide includes an remarkable on-stage ensemble, brimming with emergent and established talent, including Clare Burt (National Theatre’s London Road), Evening Standard Award-nominee Jake Davies (BBC’s The Missing), Erin Doherty (BBC’s Call the Midwife), Thusitha Jayasundera (National Theatre’s War Horse) and Richard Katz (BBC’s The Honourable Woman).

In addition, Sophie Melville (National Theatre’s Iphigenia in Splott), Clare Lawrence Moody (National Theatre’s Fram), Weruche Opia (Royal Court’s Liberian Girl), Martin Quinn (National Theatre of Scotland’s Let The Right One In), Letty Thomas (Tap Tap Theatre’s Men), Sian Thomas (Spring Awakening in the West End) and Finty Williams (BBC’s Cranford).

The ambitious and powerful production receives its premiere at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival August 2017, before going on to a limited run at the Old Vic from the 1st to 10th February 2018. Book now for Part 1 of this revolutionary double-bill.

Recommended for

Fans of writer Alan Ayckbourn’s prolific back catalogue will not want to miss the chance to catch one if his most daring projects to date.

Age Recommendations: Suitable for age 16+

Dates and times

Running time: 3 hours
Opened: 01 Feb 2018
Press night: 03 Feb 2018
Booking from: 09 Feb 2018
Booking until: 10 Feb 2018

Location and map

Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut
London, SE1 8NB

13 Reviews Add review

Now, the blurb for this mentions that the women wear black, and the men white - symbolic of women's evil in infecting men with som... More

u2fancat 5'6'', 42 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Now, the blurb for this mentions that the women wear black, and the men white - symbolic of women's evil in infecting men with some sort of plague that pretty much killed them all off, at some unspecified time in the future (over 100 years in their past, for the setting of the play). So it was a bit weird when the first person on stage was a woman in grey.. Turns out this is after the fall of the Divide, and the play consists of readings from her and her brother's diaries, back when the Divide still held. The diaries cover six years, from when she was aged 9 to age 14 (her brother two years older). So yes, they're a bit childish, as you might expect. But I do love depictions of dystopian societies - echoes of The Handmaid's Tale in this. Similarities - well, a cataclysm has decimated the population, and what's left has swung to religious extremism. Society is run by a Preacher, women are blamed for what's happened, and they're oppressed, made to wear restrictive clothing, and forbidden from doing many things that we take for granted. However, the difference here is that - rather than the men - it's the women themselves that seem to be doing the oppressing! In a kind of overwhelming guilt over their decimation of men, they've shut themselves off and are doing penance. Until, of course, events take a turn.. It's really slow. It's certainly watchable - humorous and well-acted, with a clever, understated set. It's also an hour and 40 minutes long - I was tired to start with, and the bits with the waterfall - very cleverly staged, quite realistic - with music playing softly, fair sent me to sleep.

u2fancat 5'6'', 42 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I have to admit the thought of a 4 hour Alan Ayckbourn play really didn't appeal to me, however I was pleasantly surprised (This s... More

joc78 5"4, 252 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I have to admit the thought of a 4 hour Alan Ayckbourn play really didn't appeal to me, however I was pleasantly surprised (This show is both parts together). The acting is of a great quality and I liked the story that it was telling. Based in a dystopian universe where men and women are separated into two gangs with only 'The Divide' between them, at times I felt like I was watching 'The Handmaid's Tale'. True - it is overly long and doesn't need to be four hours in length, however I did feel gripped by the action and was pleased I had a comfortable seat for this one!

joc78 5"4, 252 reviews, 4 helpful votes

eroot Height 160 cm, 41 reviews, 0 helpful votes

eroot Height 160 cm, 41 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Disappointing play that seemed far too long and ambitious. It was converted from two parts into one single performance (with an in... More

Funthing29 5"1, 163 reviews, 12 helpful votes

Disappointing play that seemed far too long and ambitious. It was converted from two parts into one single performance (with an interval) so this review is for The Divide (rather than The Divide Part 1).

Funthing29 5"1, 163 reviews, 12 helpful votes

rhiev 5' 6", 172 reviews, 12 helpful votes

rhiev 5' 6", 172 reviews, 12 helpful votes

Wonderful dystopian world. I think the play improved with the cuts. I really enjoyed it and loved the live music.

kwarnock7 5'4, 114 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Wonderful dystopian world. I think the play improved with the cuts. I really enjoyed it and loved the live music.

kwarnock7 5'4, 114 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Great production, staging, music and performances of a very silly play. It was like watching a bad YA dystopian novel.

ilanalindsey 5"1', 15 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Great production, staging, music and performances of a very silly play. It was like watching a bad YA dystopian novel.

ilanalindsey 5"1', 15 reviews, 0 helpful votes

JenK 5'10, 42 reviews, 1 helpful vote

JenK 5'10, 42 reviews, 1 helpful vote

dawnbsp 4ft 11, 236 reviews, 2 helpful votes

dawnbsp 4ft 11, 236 reviews, 2 helpful votes