Oliver-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn's 79th play, The Divide, will debut at London’s Old Vic beginning January 30, 2018, with an official opening February 3.
Directed by Annabel Bolton, the show will play in two parts. The cast will be headed by Jake Davies and Erin Doherty as siblings Elihu and Soween, discovering the truth about their tightly monitored society. Set after a fatal contagion devastates the English population, the contact between men and women is now deemed deadly. Quarantined by the Divide, survivors of the epidemic are separated by gender where men wear white for purity and women—who are still infected—wear black. But Elihu falls for Giella, played by Weruche Opia, and risks infection and the potential of a dangerous revolution.
Completing the cast are Clare Burt as Hork, Thusitha Jayasundera as Kest, Richard Katz as Conrad, Joanne McGuiness as Axi, Sophie Melville as Sassa, Clare Lawrence Moody as Desollia, Martin Quinn as Fergo, Sian Thomas as Older Soween, Finty Williams as Chayza, and Letty Thomas in the ensemble.
The production features music by Christopher Nightingale, design by Laura Hopkins, lighting design by David Plater, sound design by Bobby Aitken, and video design by Ash J Woodward with casting by Jessica Ronane.
The Divide premiered as part of the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival this summer.
Ayckbourn won the Olivier for Best Comedy in 1985 for A Chorus of Disapproval. He was awarded a Special Olivier Award in 2009. He earned a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. He made his Broadway playwriting debut in 1971 with the farce How the Other Half Loves, followed by the three-part Norman Conquests in 1975, which was subsequently revived in 2009. For more on Ayckbourn, visit his Playbill Vault page.