THEATRE REVIEW: The Day The Waters Came, 03.11.2010, The Door (The Birmingham Rep Theatre)

“The Day the Waters Came” by Lisa Evans, presented by Theatre Centre is a production made up of four actors telling the story of their lives when Hurricane Katrina came. This hour long production uses basic props and very real performances to capture the variety of emotions that could have been experienced at the time.

It is summer, 2005, New Orleans. Maya Marsalis takes you by the hand, sometimes the throat, and leads you through her landscape the day Hurricane Katrina came, the levees broke, the world watched and the US Government did nothing. Go with her, as she shows you how her world and that of thousands of black American citizens changed forever, the day the waters came, this new play explores the environmental and social impact of Hurricane Katrina on the communities in New Orleans.

The actors sat motionless on the stage as we entered the small Door theatre at The Rep, Birmingham. Their use of props such as sunken cars and houses took on various roles, this worked well as it avoided clutter on the stage and the fast paced momentum kept the audience alert but made it very obvious that there was a change in scene and characters.

There were excellent swift, sharp movements across the stage when changing scene, making it very clear to the audience, this was complimented by the music.

In general the production was excellent, simple and emotive with tear-jerking moments that gave me shivers.  At time it was difficult to hear however this seemed to improve as the performance continued.

“The Day the Waters Came” shows where people can bring hope through despair and illustrates the brilliance of the human spirit, but also how “people let us down” and at one point towards the end I couldn’t help but wonder as to why the world hadn’t acted quicker to help the effected people more and save more lives?

Sometimes it’s not the biggest, most expensive production that is the most powerful, but the one that is played from the heart – and that’s what I saw here.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Eleni Kypridemos

The Day the Waters Came is on: 23 – 27 Nov 10   Plymouth Theatre

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