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Spike Theatre take to the high seas for new production Sink or Swim

7th January 2013

Award-winning Liverpool theatre company Spike Theatre will stage the world première of new production Sink or Swim in the Playhouse Studio this spring promising to take audiences on a theatrical voyage using comedy, music and song.

Directed by Spike’s Artistic Director Mark Smith, the devised play will be scripted by Robert Farquhar while Spymonkey’s Toby Park will co-direct and compose music for the piece. Sink or Swim opens at the Liverpool Playhouse Studio from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 February prior to a national tour.

Taking inspiration from tales of the 18th century ‘bedlam ships’ the company will tour to venues in both the North West and South East of England on the show’s maiden voyage with support from new venue partners Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and The Lowry.

Sink or Swim is an insanely comic tale of three men’s maddening struggles at sea. En-route to America the hapless victims find themselves running for the lifeboats when they come under attack and their ship - The Sea Venture - is sunk. As the icy dawn breaks, and with only a single oar, they find themselves alone and going around in circles.

Spike Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Smith said: “We are really proud to have achieved 15 years of national and international touring and to be producing our 15th show makes us especially happy. Sink or Swim tackles the idea of what you are willing to do to survive. Will you Sink or Swim? The madness of three men, stuck in a lifeboat, all at sea and wondering if they’re going to live is an allegory of these times and seemed apt to put on stage in these times of cuts and austerity.”

The company has collaborated with Toby Park of internationally renowned comedy theatre company Spymonkey (Oedipussy, Moby Dick) to create Sink or Swim. Park, who will co-direct alongside Spike Artistic Director Mark Smith and compose music for the piece, has previously worked with Spike on The Games in 2010.

Renowned writer Robert Farquhar (Kissing Sid James, Dead Heavy Fantastic, Bad Jazz) will be scripting the play from the devising of the performance company, a process which began during 2012’s Everyword Festival.

Spike Theatre is proud to continue working with accomplished designer, Kevin Pollard, who has worked for The New York Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera and received an Olivier Award nomination for Shockheaded Peter. Pollard has designed three of Spike’s previous shows; Top of the World, Danny the Champion of the World and Beasts and Beauties. The design will also feature animation by Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts graduate Colin Eccleston, a former Linbury Prize finalist, whose credits include The Games and Beasts and Beauties for Spike.

The cast includes Shaun Mason (Macbeth, Billy Wonderful, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse; Clockwork Orange, Glasgow Citizens Theatre), Graham Geoffrey Hicks (RAW Theatre, Unity Theatre) and Paul Duckworth (Brookside, Beating Berlusconi, Reds and Blues) as the sailors all at sea.

Sink or Swim will premiere at The Liverpool Playhouse Studio in February and The Lowry in March with additional dates in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Luton, Kendal, Ormskirk and St Helens.

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For more information and to book tickets for Sink or Swim click here.

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