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

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

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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

Broadchurch and Doctor Who writer Chris Chibnall knows a good story when he encounters one. Such a story can be found in his latest stage play, a full-bellied laugh-filled extravaganza entitled Worst Wedding Ever.

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia returned to Ipswich’s Regent Theatre last night with a sparkling and enchanting presentation of La Fille Mal Gardee, a chaming comic ballet in two acts.

Hysteria comes with quite a reputation. Penned by an acclaimed comic wordsmith, showered with praise by ecstatic critics on its original production and the recipient of an Olivier for Best New Comedy in 1994, any new staging has a lot to live up to.

LipService take us on a witty, clever and ingenious journey with Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Darcy. Deliciously irreverant, the world of the female writer is deconstructed in a hilarious pastiche mash up.

Classical Indian dance and hip hop is combined in a new work at the DanceHouse in Ipswich. Arts editor Andrew Clarke found out more

Rudyard Kipling’s book was given the Oddsocks Treatment and it was fantastic to see what they could do with some instruments, small jungle set and five people; transporting the audience into the heat of the Indian jungle for fun and laughter.

Showstopper!: The Improvised Musical, the Olivier-winning show which wowed both London’s West End and the Edinburgh Fringe, is arriving at the New Wolsey Theatre this weekend and is looking for lots of audience participation.

The Olivier-winning farce Hysteria about the meeting of Sigmund Freud and surreal artist Salvador Dali in Hampstead in 1938 is being staged at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds and the Colchester Mercury as part of a nationwide tour.

John Cleese is a comedy god. A founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, creator of Basil Fawlty and an integral part of such groundbreaking comedy series as I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again and The Frost Report, you would expect him to be basking in the sun on some comedy equivalent of Mount Olympus consuming ambrosia off the belly of a woodland nymph.

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