The Divide is Alan Ayckbourn’s epic new tale that unflinchingly explores a dystopian society of repression, insurrection and forbidden love.

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.

An extraordinary new work by one of the UK’s greatest storytellers, Alan Ayckbourn’s The Divide is a vision of a dystopian future defined by brutal repression and forbidden love.

The Divide will feature a choir of 20 performers from The Old Vic’s community company performing original music composed by Christopher Nightingale.

Originally performed in two parts, and directed by Annabel Bolton, The Divide received its world premiere as part of the Edinburgh International Festival over a two-week run in August 2017, before opening at The Old Vic in February 2018. This collaboration with EIF is the first of several brokered by The Old Vic to mark the bicentenary of the theatre in 2018, and promises a tale for our own turbulent times.

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