The Divide: Synopsis

Availability: The Divide is published by PS Publishing and available to buy in hardcover (ISBN: 9781786364470) and softcover (ISBN: 9781786364487).

Administrator's note:
The Divide is a novel by Alan Ayckbourn. It was neither written nor conceived to be a play and, as such, is obviously not available for performance as a play.

Alan Ayckbourn has provided the following quotes when promoting the events of The Divide:

Not so long ago, let it not be forgotten, as decreed by The Preacher, Men and Women lived apart on separate sides of the Divide in segregated isolation.
The celebrated novelist Soween Clay-Flin recalls this period in our recent history with dramatised readings based on documents of the period, including her own personal diary as a young girl who lived through it and survived to tell the tale.


The Divide is a tale for our own turbulent times that unflinchingly examines a dystopian society of brutal repression, forbidden love and seething insurrection.

In the aftermath of a deadly contagion which has decimated the population, contact between men and women has become fatal. Under the dictates of an elusive and authoritarian Preacher, an unthinkable solution has been enforced. The adult survivors are now segregated by gender and, physically separated, men wear white as a sign of their purity and women - still deemed infected - are clothed in black as a mark of their sin.

As new social norms prevail, brother and sister Elihu and Soween grow up learning the ways of their tightly controlled society. As they begin to glimpse the cracks in the system, Elihu falls for Giella, the daughter of two radical mothers, risking fatal disease and threatening to ignite a bloody revolution.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.