The UK City of Culture prepares for Flood

Published: Monday 27th February 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Due to its positioning where the rivers Hull and Humber meet, our city has always been dependent on water.

From a thriving port, to a major source of whaling and fishing, to the home of P&O Ferries, Hull has used access to the North Sea to its benefit. But what happens when those very waters turn against us?

Flood is an epic adventure about the end of our world. Presented by Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and pioneering Leeds-based theatre company Slung Low, it tells a harrowing tale in many parts.

Taking place across a year, it is Slung Low’s most ambitious and experimental project to date, using live performance, special effects, digital manifestations and other platforms.

Written by James Phillips (the mind behind Slung Low’s epic Moby Dick and Camelot), the story is told online, live in Hull, and on TV.

Slung Low are a truly innovative company, never cutting corners or doing things by halves. So far the project has seen them working off the coast of Whitby aboard the fishing trawler The Chieftain, as well as filming underwater.

We spoke to Alan Lane, Artistic Director, to get a bit more info.

Flood is a monumental story about an event that drives European migration to Hull. This is followed by the destruction of the city as we know it.”

“The next part will then focus on how people rebuild a world from ruin.”

An apocalyptic narrative based on social issues, Flood is very much in line with Slung Low’s celebrated style. However, this project is far greater in scale than any previous undertaking.

The trailer [below] was released in early February and today Slung Low head to Hull to share the next phase with the public.

“We’re bringing our 1956 silver Airstream caravan to supermarket car parks across the city all this week,” says Alan.

“Our team has converted the vehicle into a seven-seater cinema, so you might catch us during your weekly shop.”

The current five-minute film will be complemented by a live show in April, a TV feature later in the year, and another live show toward the end of the project.

“Each piece stands alone. They’re part of a greater narrative, so if you watch them all you get an increased understanding of the overall story.”

“But you can also watch the odd one and still enjoy the experience,” Alan emphasis. “A bit like Star Wars.”

This terrifying future catastrophe presents viewers with food for thought as well as thrilling entertainment.

“It’s in our cultural DNA to wonder about these things,” says Alan. “It may be a dystopian setting, but it’s also a plausible tomorrow for contemporary Britain. It makes you think.”

With some activity being free and other parts priced £10-£12.50, we recommend that you keep up to date with Flood on the Hull 2017 website.

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Published: Monday 27th February 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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