The very first play to tackle the serious subject of climate change is touring again to retell the epic romance of Tom and Sally Millington.
Laugh and cry with two extraordinary everyday people, as they bravely battle cataclysmic odds and rediscover a deep-seated love and affection to help carry them through events which are truly global.
Tom and Sally Millington’s house is about to be flooded yet again! Sally blames the icebergs, but Tom is more concerned about losing custom from the drunken Brummie revellers he has to sail up the River Severn every weekend on his disco-boat.
But this time the water level shows no sign of retreating, and before long they’re drifting around a flooded landscape desperately searching for land – perhaps the floods haven’t yet reached France? The irrepressible Millington's slowly begin to realise they are witnessing the results of a global cock-up.
Join them on their poignant journey in a dilemma that pits them against cataclysmic odds in a comic-tragedy of epic proportions...
The play opened at Cheltenham Everyman in June 2015 and will be touring right through 2016, with Coventry Belgrade already confirmed for May 2016. Originally produced by Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, it has already proved to be an amazingly popular show both in this country and abroad, including major theatres in Rome, plus an acclaimed production for BBC drama too.
You can listen to a sound clip here with Annette Badland playing the role of Sally:
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It is now widely accepted by scientists and governments that global warming is with us, and that the consequences are far-reaching and probably irreversible.
One of the most profoundly unsettling events that points to this happened a few years ago when the Larsen B ice shelf, an area the size of Wales, thought to weigh almost 500 million billion tonnes, broke away form the Antarctic continent and shattered into thousands of icebergs.
Antarctica has warmed 2.5 degrees centigrade in just 50 years, and more similar events are predicted.
As an environmental campaigner, I knew I had to bring this subject to the stage, and consequently wrote this play for Alan Ayckbourn's Theatre In Scarborough; it has since been produced by the Swan Theatre, Worcester and Oxford Theatre company, had a critically acclaimed BBC Radio production and two sell-out productions in Rome, where it is called Effetto Serra. It is sobering to think I wrote this play back in 2000, before the recent dreadful flooding in Worcester, when I found myself stuck in my home town of Malvern completely surrounded by water and cut off from the outside world.
We can no longer ignore the consequences of our way of life - carbon dioxide emissions have caused weather patterns to become more extreme; from tornadoes to droughts and from floods to heat waves. In addition sea levels have also risen by a foot in the last century. For countries like Bangladesh that spells disaster. But low-lying countries in Europe are also feeling the brunt of this phenomenon, as witnessed when Dresden and Prague were completely flooded and mass evacuations took place.
River's Up is about how deforestation, pollution and the stripping of the earth's resources could affect every one of us, and I particularly wanted to tell this story through the eyes of ordinary people. So welcome to the epic romance of Sally and Tom Millington, as they bravely battle cataclysmic odds and rediscover a deep-seated love and affection that carries them through events that are truly global.
Alex Jones, Playwright.
Copyright, Alex Jones © 2012. All Rights Reserved.
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