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THEATRE REVIEW: Emotions of a country divided by Brexit

What Once Was Ours. Actors Pippa Beckwith and Jaz Hutchins. Photo supplied.
What Once Was Ours. Actors Pippa Beckwith and Jaz Hutchins. Photo supplied.

What Once Was Ours by Zest Theatre and Half Moon at the South Holland Centre, Spalding

When Britain woke up to the results of the referendum to leave the EU last June the decision divided many people.

It was close. ‘Leave’ won the vote by 51.9% to 48.1% who wanted to remain.

The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting.

But many felt it was a generational divide - or was it down to which area you lived in that swayed the vote?

A play that came to Spalding’s South Holland Centre last Wednesday (November 15), sought to put into theatre, and performance, some of the feelings and views that were stirred up by Brexit.

During their research and development for the show, called ‘What Once Was Ours,’ Zest Theatre held extensive workshops across the UK, including in Boston, here in Lincolnshire.

They talked to and listened to young people from across the divide to find out their feelings on Brexit, ‘Britishness’, politics and society.

Recordings of these conversations were played in the show, to add to the story of the struggling relationship between Katie and Callum, a half-brother and sister from two very different backgrounds.

While they had the same dad, the family had split views and emotions on Britain today, amidst a backdrop of tensions.

This was not an ordinary play. Instead of the audience sitting and facing the stage, we were ON the stage, and became part of the two person show.

This wouldn’t have been for everyone, but there was no pressure to take part in the show; although we were ‘included’ in the action as the two actors (Pippa Beckwith and Jaz Hutchins) handed us props to hold when they had finished with them. Willing participants were incorporated into the final scene.

It was certainly different to any performance I had been to before but the two actors played their parts with enthusiasm and raw emotion, driving home the message of how Brexit has affected us all.

Reviewed by Zoe Myall


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