The Slip at Worcestershire Literary Festival

By Al Jones

An innovative and compelling theatrical production, 'The Slip' stayed with me long after the final words were spoken - there's a kind of transience about the play, an almost mystic quality, you might say, that is quite unique and something you don't encounter that often in British theatre.

Inspired by Marge Piercey's novel, Woman On The Edge, the play begins naturalistically, carthing the marriage breakdown and in turn the emotional breakdown of Zoe, played by Dee Vincent-Lloyd who lives with her floundering husband, Liam, actor Lee Farley, in a house that is literally at risk of slipping into the sea on the crumbling coastline of a seaside town called Lundwich. It was difficult to watch the pair negotiate a brittle path through a relationship that was marred by emotional problems, and the husband in particular trying stoically to say and do the right thing in spite of his weariness with it all was realistically moving.

But following a visit to an art gallery, the realism suddenly melted away as Zoe literally slipped into another future dimension where Lundwhich had been swallowed by the encroaching sea, and life there was very different. There she meets Electra and her friend, (also played by Lee Farley), who takes her on a journey of enlightenment and recovery, with a challenging discussion of what is important in one's life.

Michelle Pogmore's enigmatic movement and dance added another level to the drama here, lifting the play into a realm that was almost dreamlike, helped also by a musical score, ably programmed by a Radio DJ, Tiffany Hosking who comments and steers the audience through the evening with the help of musician, Guy Smith who also plays a ukulele solo at one point!

Great performances by all of the cast ensured an entertaining evening, and the director and DJ Tiffany Hoskins must be congratulated for creating a piece of theatre that was both challenging and innovative.

Published in Worcestershire's Literary Festival Magazine 'Be', 2012.