This extraordinarily tender and timely play is about calling a place home – and what that really means. Starring Liam Bull (Supacell, Netflix); Micky Dartford (The Larkins – Season 2, ITV); Joan Hodges (It’s a Sin, Channel 4); Sheree Kane (Seeds: The Round Shape of all Things Red, The Arcola Women’s Theatre Company); Paul Lavers (Catch Me If You Can, UK Tour); Sabrina Puri makes her professional debut in The Flood; Matilda Rae (The Fall, Finborough Theatre); Modupe Salu (House, Southwark Playhouse); Adrian Stokes (Roots, Nottingham Playhouse & Mercury Theatre); George Whitehead (Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light, Neal Street Productions); and Vanessa White-Smith (Stamping Shouting & Singing Home, Polka Theatre).
There are heart-in-the mouth moments as the story time-hops between 1953, present day and 2053. It begins at the opening party of the War Memorial Community Hall in Canvey Island, on the stormy night just before the North Sea burst through the sea defence. “There’s a close-knit group of young people and I wanted dancing, joy, and celebration before the tragedy,” Vickie explains.
The drama then jumps forward to 2023, and the group are now in their 80s. “Its another party in the hall, years later, but more like a tea dance,” Vickie says.
Adding an extra dimension to the production, QTH has been scouring the local community to cast two large groups – one of late-teens and the other a group of older people, to add life on stage to the parties alongside the play’s main actors. 20 Performing Arts students from New City College: Ardleigh Green campus make up the late-teens ensemble, whilst 18 older people make up the older ensemble. The New City College Ensemble has been created through the Theatre’s ongoing partnership with the college, formed in May 2022.
“The community casts idea really excites me,” Vickie says. “It just feels right because in the end this play is all about people and relationships, lives and family and friendship.”
The Flood will be directed by Stef O’Driscoll (part of QTH’s Creative Leadership Team and interim Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre); designed by Khadija Raza (Antigone, Regents Park Theatre); with lighting designed by Rajiv Pattani (Statements After an Arrest Under The Immorality Act, Orange Tree Theatre); sound designed by Dominic Kennedy (A History of Water in the Middle East, Royal Court Theatre); movement direction by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster (Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Harold Pinter Theatre). The Associate Movement Director is Hayley Chilvers; the Casting Director is Sydney Alridge; the Dramaturg is Rishi Trikha; the Assistant Director is Manley Gavich; and the Executive Producer is Mathew Russell.
Stef O’Driscoll, director of The Flood says, “I have always adored Vickie Donoghue’s words and am so pleased we get to collaborate on this world premiere of an extraordinary cross generational Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch commission made in and about a moment in Essex but resonating beyond.”
Tickets start from £12.50 plus 65p QNext fee. Under 26s £8.