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Old Vic stages Ditch in tunnel

Published April 14, 2010

Following its experiment with Punchdrunk last year, the Old Vic is to stage a new play by Beth Steel in the tunnels under Waterloo Station from 13 to 19 May.

Steel’s debut play, Ditch, co-produced by HighTide, will transfer from the HighTide Festival to tunnels 228-332, which have been acquired by the Old Vic theatre as a unique performance space.

Ditch is set in Britain in the near future when much of the country is underwater and the government has been reduced to a group of fascist strongmen. In a rural outpost of the state, men patrol the moors for illegals. Their numbers dwindling, they struggle to retain a semblance of civilisation in the face of the inevitable onset of global war.

The Old Vic’s experiment with Waterloo Station’s tunnels began last year when it teamed up with innovative theatre company Punchdrunk to stage a theatrical experience in tunnel 228 based on a dystopian sci-fi world. The free, 15-day event was fully booked before it opened in May 2009.

HighTide is no stranger to site-specific theatre either, having collaborated with the Bush theatre to stage Iraq-set promenade performance Stovepipe at the West 12 shopping centre last year.

Ditch is the first event in the Old Vic’s tunnel-based plans for 2010, which also include productions, installations, ‘pop-up’ events and film screenings, with tickets either free or affordably priced.

Richard Twyman’s production of Ditch has a cast including Craig Conway, Dearblha
Molloy, Danny Webb, Gethin Anthony, Matti Houghton and Paul Rattray.

Tickets are available from High Tide on 0207 566 9767.

CB