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Review: The Edge, a devised play by Transport, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, until October 10

PUBLISHED: 12:53 09 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:53 09 October 2015

The Edge which is being premiered at the New Wolsey Theatre

The Edge which is being premiered at the New Wolsey Theatre

Archant

Set in the near future, this compelling and creative production from Transport in association with The New Wolsey asks important questions of us.

The Edge which is being premiered at the New Wolsey TheatreThe Edge which is being premiered at the New Wolsey Theatre

It’s 2035 and mass migration is caused not only by war and poverty but also by global warming. Millions are displaced by rising sea levels and the destruction of coastlines. However, in 2015 our two main characters have just been born.

Tim Lewis and Balvinder Sopal tell the life stories of a man and a woman. They have no names and this is no romance, simply a mythic tale of human endeavour and spirit. One will travel from India and asks the question: “how does a fisherman’s son become a deportee?” Another will lose parents and a home due to rising water levels. Both will cross the English Channel, beating the odds to meet.

James Button’s design has echoes of a civilisation destroyed: a rubbish dump land –fill pile of grey slabs, books and boxes. The actors move, at times, like chess pieces around the space and the world seems a small place. This physical aspect of the production works and heightens the simple storytelling and language style.

At a running time of just over an hour, both actors have a sense of urgency and energy to their performances, however lines are not secure. The stories they tell are deeply human ones, extraordinary in places, but the third person narrative style of the script is over- used and prevents real emotional impact.

The powerful symbolism of water throughout connects the characters, making land borders seem absurd. But in Dover where our fisherman’s son washes up he instantly becomes a criminal. Terrifyingly, in 2035, it is imagined that is a criminal offence to help those in need.

The Edge seeks to grimly warn but to also remind us that the only certainty in life is that we will receive a great kindness too.

Jackie Montague

It’s not too late to book tickets for one of the great shows at Suffolk theatres in May. Whether you are mad about music, bonkers for Bollywood or perhaps prefer plays, there is something for everyone and we have highlighted just a few of the entertaining events on offer.

A cold Monday night couldn’t stop Anglo-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili warming up a delighted Regent as he rolled into Ipswich for the latest stop on his Schmuck for a Night mega-tour.

Esther Freud never set out to be an author, she just loves telling stories. She talks about her path to success, dealing with pressure and offers advice to aspiring writers.

Theatre has the ability to tackle some big questions in a fun and entertaining manner. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke spoke to director Amit Lahav about his new show The Wedding which asks questions about society and how we live.

In three years the Ink Festival has established itself as a vital platform for new theatrical writing talent. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to artistic directors Julia Sowerbutts and Emma Struthers to find out how the festival has developed

A slice of Broadway and West End musical theatre is coming to Stowmarket next month.

This year’s Ink Festival sees celebrated novelist Esther Freud make her playwrighting debut. She, and director Helen Atkinson Wood, reveal more while professional theatre critic Libby Purves offers advice on how to get your new play noticed.

There is just nothing sacred for the Pub Landlord. He’ll touch every raw nerve in your body with his bigoted and single-minded view on life.

Comedian Jim Tavaré will no longer grace the stage of Clacton’s Princes Theatre or Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion after being involved in a near fatal car crash in his home city of Los Angeles.

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