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Julie Tomlin’s theatre news: The Divide; Invisible Women Festival; Boat People; Hear Me Raw

16 February, 2018 — By Julie Tomlin

Erin Doherty in The Divide. Photo: Marc Marnie

• A pity to be writing about a play that’s already ended its short run – The Divide was on at the Old Vic until February 10 but is worth seeing should it be staged again. Particularly, that is, if Erin Doherty is playing the lead, Soween. Reviews of Alan Ayckbourn’s original six-hour show were overwhelmingly negative when it opened at the Edinburgh Festival. This production was trimmed back to just under four hours, and while there were aspects of the story about a dystopian future where men and women are forced after a devastating plague to live divided lives, it was such a richly woven production that watching it wasn’t a chore. Soween’s journal entries from childhood to her young teens are the mainstay of the production. Doherty pitches her funny, feisty character just right as she tries to make sense of the bewildering religious, political and moral differences expressed by the people she loves, and begins her own awakening secretly reading proscribed books such as Jane Eyre.

New Diorama’s Invisible Women Festival begins on February 19. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the festival’s organisers, Spare Tyre, and the programme explores its history, its roots in the 1970s feminist movement and the stories of the women artists and communities it works with. More details on 020 7383 9034,

• Inspired by the true story of the trial of a ship’s captain who changed course in order to rescue a boat carrying migrants making their way to Europe, Boat People opens at Pentameters Theatre on February 16. More details on 020 7435 3648,

Hear Me Raw, Daniella Isaacs’ account of her journey through the world of clean food and wellness is on at the Arcola Theatre until February 24. More details on 020 7503 1646,


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