The Flood

Steve Lambert

Badac

Summerhall

From 01 August 2014 to 24 August 2014

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Standing in a cellar in the depths of Summerhall with a dozen other members of the audience, you experience an intense, visceral theatrical experience.

A World War I soldier is reciting over and over again a mantra before going over the top from the trenches.

It is uncomfortable watching as the soldier hurls pieces of liver at a metal plate screwed to the wall. It is a metaphor for the slaughter of millions of soldiers who gave up their lives in the carnage of that war to end all wars.

Rescuing the meat, a nurse decides who is dead and who can be repaired by physically sewing the liver together before transferring it to a metal pail, only to be returned to the soldier who replenishes his bucket before starting this horrendous process over and over again.

Susanne Gschwendtner is superb as the troubled nurse who has constant nightmares about death.

Steve Lambert gives an exhausting, powerful performance as the soldier, a true tour-de-force.

There are some moments of tenderness as these two characters fall in love that only goes to make the violence even more unbearable to watch.

This is compelling theatre that delivers a potent message.