HighTide and New Wolsey Theatre have announced that Stacey Ghent and Shenagh Govan have been cast playing mother and daughter in two hander When The Long Trick’s Over – a triumphant play from Olivier Award winning Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (‘Emilia’- West End, ‘Typical Girls’ – Sheffield Crucible, ‘Mum’ – Plymouth Theatre Royal & Soho Theatre) – a work which moves forwards and backwards in time across the 21 miles between Dover and Calais as a young swimmer harnesses her mind and body to make the Channel crossing.
With grief and joy, 90’s pop-songs and lists, When The Long Trick’s Over encapsulates the fact that love persists whatever the distance, and however perilous the journey to the other side. The play tackles what it means to grieve, both physically and mentally, how we deal with loss and all the ways in which those we have lost paradoxically remain present in our lives as we struggle through our world without them. And that, sometimes, it means swimming against the tide and against the things that hold you back: the old memories and oil tankers, jelly fish and jelly babies.
Focusing on the untapped strength of our bodies and family connections, Morgan’s East of England debut production is very much a piece for our times and a step change for HighTide as it produces its first full scale tour since the pandemic and continues in the organisation’s mission to produce quality new work across Suffolk.
Writer Morgan Lloyd Malcolm said, “I am so excited about touring my play around the East of England. It’s a piece that is close to my heart and having visited but never worked in the communities we will be visiting; I’m so looking forward to getting the chance to spend some proper time there creating this piece with the HighTide team. I can’t wait to take audiences on this journey through the waves of the English Channel. It’s going to be magical.”
The production’s creative team is all-female; and the majority are women of colour – HighTide’s Artistic Director and CEO, Suba Das said “Morgan was rightly keen that this play, which is so profoundly about women’s joy, pain, and resilience; be taken into production by as many phenomenal women as possible.
It has been my privilege not only to help make that a reality, but with HighTide’s Associate Artist Chinoyerem Odimba in the driving seat, we have also been able to assemble a truly diverse all-female team of the highest calibre. These artists bring not only their range of lived experiences to the production, but also diversity of artform from aerial choreography to digital projection, helping us create a truly theatrical world for the play. A team like this remains frustratingly rare in our sector, but I’m proud that HighTide are once again leading the way, and showing what’s possible, even in these challenging times.”
On the play overall, HighTide’s Artistic Director and CEO, Suba Das; and New Wolsey’s Chief Executive, Sarah Holmes and Artistic Director Peter Rowe made a joint statement: We’re delighted to be launching the first co-production between HighTide and the New Wolsey; and HighTide’s first full-scale production since lockdown.
This world premiere production marks the first time Morgan Lloyd Malcolm – a real star of contemporary British theatre – has had her work produced in the East of England and we’re delighted that HighTide and the New Wolsey’s new partnership means that our audiences will have their first encounter with one of our greatest theatre talents. We’re even more excited that with touring dates to Aldeburgh, Lowestoft, Diss, Halesworth and Bury St Edmunds, work being made in Ipswich is really reaching out across the whole of Suffolk. For HighTide especially, it’s an honour that this new production, led by the trail blazing Chinonyerem Odimba, sees HighTide return to friends and audiences in previous festival homes in Aldeburgh and Halesworth.
This world premiere follows HighTide’s Inventing the Future festival in October, which showcased six brand new plays and formally launched HighTide’s partnership with the New Wolsey, supporting new writing in the East of England.
We’re particularly proud to present this lyrical and funny play about how family, your favourite pop songs, and the physical act of swimming, can all help overcome grief as we all continue to recover from the pandemic. We hope our audiences will all find joy and strength in a story that celebrates the indomitable fortitude of the human spirit.
HighTide Associate Artist and playwright, screenwriter, poet and director Chinonyerem Odimba, (*Medea at Bristol Old Vic, We Too, Are Giants for Kiln Theatre, Unknown Rivers at Hampstead Theatre, Prince and the Pauper at Watermill Theatre), will direct the work by Olivier Award winning playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia, West-End, and Mum at Soho Theatre.
Chinonyerem said, “It’s a very special piece of writing about all the beautiful ways we can be both wholly in pursuit of life, but also standing still in grief. I am thrilled to be directing this, and to be making work as a HighTide Associate Artist. I can’t wait to meet audiences on tour with this new play!”
The tour kicks off with four dates (Fri 11th – Tuesday 15th Feb at The New Wolsey theatre before touring to Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, Oxford Playhouse, Norwich Arts Centre, The Corn Hall, Diss, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Marina Theatre, Lowestoft and The Cut, Halesworth.