|Date||2nd February 2013|
|Society||Cast and Crew Theatre Workshop|
|Venue||St Nicholas Hall|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Tessa Davies
This play, written to memorialise the events of the Great Floods in 1953, was bound to stir emotions, especially for those members of the audience who had lived through the period, both on and off the Island. This is the third incarnation of the play, it was originally written for the students at the local secondary school to perform on the 25th anniversary of the event. Rewritten and updated in 2003 (the 50th anniversary) and now updated again for the 60th anniversary this year.
It is the type of production where the story is the most important thing and the performers are a vehicle to present that story. With many of the cast playing several roles it would be very unfair to pick out specific characters. However I must compliment Graham Davies who, as the Narrator, ties the stories together. Director, Ray Stone, made sure that we were enthralled by the story and his small cameo was deeply thought provoking. I would also mention Deb Adams who, in this production, played the grandma who dies at the end of Act One. Yes, she had me and a lot of others, in the audience, in tears, bringing home the tragedies that occurred during this short period. I would also mention the numerous children in the cast, they were all very good in their performances, projecting so we could hear them and creating nice characters.
Everybody played their parts well and there were some lovely comedy touches to lighten the atmosphere.
The set was simple and the changes made quickly and smoothly, there could, maybe have been a few adjustments to make these changes less obvious but it was the story that was our focus. I liked the use of projection to show some of the archive pictures from the period and the costumes were well researched. Lighting is limited in this venue but was more than adequate for this production. The specially composed music was atmospheric and the songs performed in the play were entertaining.
This production was, primarily, to remind us all of the events, heroes and issues of the time and I, certainly, came away with a better understanding of the human strengths and frailties that are exposed during such catastrophic events. The aim was to keep the memories alive and make sure that the current generation of Islanders were conscious of the historic events that have moulded the people of Canvey Island.
This the company have succeeded in doing with great effect and they are to be congratulated on a thought-provoking and fascinating insight into part of the Islands history.