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.”
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.