‘Dead … Blighty … Fixed … Back you go … ‘
In Badac’s The Flood, the men of the First World War are literally treated as pieces of meat, scraped from the battlefield and brought to the attentions of The Nurse, who does her best to save as many as she can. Whilst all the while praying that The Soldier, her love, is spared ‘the flood of despair’, and not torn from her by the darkness.
Badac’s two-hander takes place in a brick-lined basement of Summerhall, a suitably dark and sombre location for the long-distance relationship between the Nurse and the Soldier to build towards its climax. The intimate space allows the audience to witness the emotions unfold from an intense proximity, with direct eye contact being employed to disquieting effect.
Disturbing from the outset and with powerful use of repetition and simple props which evoke a butcher’s slab rather than a hospital ward, The Flood is unrelenting in its drive towards its inevitable end.
The fact that the company are able to wring such raw emotion from so stark a set is testament to the strength of the script and of the performances, which pound with brutal directness one moment, then ache with heartbreaking tenderness the next.
A bloody and unflinching protest against the futility of war, The Flood rises with an emotional surge which is hard not to be swept away by.
The Flood is at Summerhall until 25 Aug, 18:30 and 20:30 nightly (not 11 Aug)