The Castaways – York Theatre Royal

York-based White Tree Theatre perform The Castaways at York Theatre Royal on Tuesday 20th November. The show is part of the theatre’s Studio Discoveries; a week of exciting new theatre curated by community programming team, Visionari, which is the theatre’s new initiative to give the local community a voice.

The Castaways is set in the not too distant future, where flooding and coastal erosion have ravaged many parts of the UK, and scores of towns and cities have been destroyed. Despite the warning signs, the rallies and petitions, the problem has been largely ignored. Now the country is in a state of emergency. Turning the international refugee crisis on its head, this is the story of young mum, Sam, and her son, Alfie, flooded out of their home in York. They are forced to join a growing population of desperate migrants embarking on a journey that will lead them from camp to camp. As the country lurches towards environmental devastation and the veneer of civilisation begins to slip, Sam must face a dangerous decision in order to survive. White Tree Theatre create well-crafted theatre to challenge and entertain, believing that theatre rooted in story and character – the fundamentals of storytelling – enables them to perform stories centred on universal themes and issues.

Rebecca Thomson, Artistic Director of the company, says “The Castaways is an important play as it works to develop audience’s emotional understanding of some big topical issues, including the refugee crisis. We have toured the show to theatres and schools in Hull, Leeds and Sheffield this year, and it’s been resonating with audiences who know a lot or very little about the situation. People who have come to this country as refugees have talked to us after the show about their own personal experiences. It’s been overwhelming and a privilege to hear their stories of survival.”

The Castaways is a solo show performed by York actor, Charlotte Wood, and written by local writer, Rachel Price. The play was initially written for a new writing project run by the York branch of Script Yorkshire and previewed at The Basement, City Screen last October. See it at York Theatre Royal on November 20th.