The Divide: Synopsis

Cast: 20m / 19f - Due to the number of characters in The Divide, there is no recommended cast size - although a minimum of 10 would be sensible for any reading.
Running time (approximate):
The Edinburgh International Festival production (2017) ran for six hours over two parts including one interval per performance)
Characters: Click here to see a character breakdown.

For the initial gala reading of
The Divide in 2015, Alan Ayckbourn provided to following notes:

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.


For the Old Vic's production at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2017, the following advertising copy was used.

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

A century from now, England has been decimated by a deadly contagion. Contact between men and women is fatal. They are forcibly separated by a divide. Men wear white as a mark of their purity and women – still infected – wear black as a sign of their sin.

Brother and sister Elihu and Soween grow up in a small town devastated by disease, learning the ways of the closely monitored society around them. But when Elihu falls for the daughter of two radical mothers, he risks not only fatal disease but also igniting a bloody revolution.


A full synopsis will published during late 2017.