Epic adventure makes a splash in city dock

Staged on water in a Hull dock, with boats buzzing around, the odd explosion and flames thrown in, and several actors bravely plunging in, Flood can fairly lay claim to being an 'extraordinary' piece of theatre.

The audience watched from the dockside, armed with a monocular for a close up, and headphones which caught every breath and sigh.

A “drownded” young girl is dragged alive from the sea in a net, the name Gloriana etched on her knuckles. She is bought ashore setting in train a series of events which threatens the world. To some she is Christ-like; to the son of the fishermen who rescued her, a symbol of evil “who bought the storm.”

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A parable for our times, Flood weaves deep fears about migrants with love stories and a cataclysmic flood, in a poetic, mystifying way. The rain begins and doesn’t stop until a tidal wave smashes through the city.

Impossible to categorise, it was part-musical and strongly political, with “filmic” special effects including giant projections onto clouds of vapour. It ended on a cliff-hanger with the girl leaping into the dock waters, after an attempt to kill her.

The sell-out production by Leeds-based Slung Low, commissioned for Hull 2017, continues tonight and tomorrow, with part three of the story, which begun online, to be broadcast on the BBC in the summer.