The play which is performed inside a caravan

The play looks back at the floods which devastated parts of Britain in 2007

Two years ago Britain witnessed some of the wettest weather on record, with mass flooding across the country in the summer of 2007. The Fire Brigades Union described the rescue effort as ‘its biggest ever peacetime mission’ while in some areas in Hull the water was around 6ft deep. A year after the floods, over five thousand people couldn’t return to their homes – and two thousand of those were living in caravans.

Young experimental theatre company Look Left Look Right are a documentary theatre company who reflect on the impact of the floods in their newest production The Caravan. The play is described by the company as an ‘intense and at times humourous half hour piece’ which puts both performers and audience in a 20-foot caravan.

Four cast members perform the play to eight audience members, all within the confines of the caravan itself. Written to applaud ‘the resilience of human nature’ as well as ‘give insight to how people cope in a crisis’ the choice of theatre may be considered highly unusual. Severely compromised in size with only eight people able to attend at one time, directors Mimi Poskitt and Ben Freedman believe it was the only choice.

“With The Caravan the venue is integral to the piece as a normal theatre just wouldn’t work. The audience are sitting with the performers, maybe only a foot apart, having tea with them, being asked to make space, or budge up. ”

When asked further about the insistence of using a caravan as the entire theatre rather than using a set on stage, the directors felt that realism was the key to this piece.

“It’s a very real experience, and as we’re using interviews from actual people still living in caravans it makes sense to set it in a caravan. Central to our story telling and productions are people, their experiences and their feelings. We feel that what people experienced in 2007’s floods should be reflected upon and remembered, with accuracy.”

The Guardian newspaper was full of praise for the production when the caravan was stationed outside of the Royal Court Theatre for performances earlier this year. “It is like having a chat with new-made friends over digestive biscuits.the cramped seating, the sound of rain on the roof and the enforced intimacy create a sweet directness in the piece.”

The Caravan is currently touring the country until the end of October, with full details below. More information about the play and the theatre company can be found here.

Drum Theatre Plymouth
Tues 15 – Sat 19 Sept, various performance times Tickets 01752 267 222
Website www.theatreroyal.com

Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
Tues 22 – Fri 25 Sept at 3.30, 4.15, 7, 7.45 & 8.30pm Tickets 023 8067 1771
Website www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

Canterbury Festival
Wed 21 – Sat 24 Oct at 2.00, 2.50, 3.40, 4.30 & 5.20pm
Tickets 01227 378188
Website www.canterburyfestival.co.uk

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