Lancaster storm play to capture real life stories of Desmond

Alex Summers
Alex Summers

A new play exploring the affects that Storm Desmond had on people’s lives in Lancaster and Morecambe is starting to take shape.

Blackout will focus on three main stories in Lancaster, Morecambe and Halton, with real life and often moving accounts of struggle and loss following the storm that wreaked havoc in the district in December 2015.

The Lancaster story touches on the life of a small business owner whose stock and premises were ruined and her fight to recover her livelihood.

Her parents were market traders whose livelihoods were also destroyed by the 1984 Lancaster Market fire.

Another strand to the story looks at how a young woman living in Morecambe Foyer was forced to roam the streets and supermarkets looking for food.

In the end things are so desperate she’s forced to reunite with her estranged mother.

In Halton, a family’s home was flooded, which destroyed a train set their son had spent 10 years building with his dad, and all the other ways this impacted the community.

Alex Summers, associate director working wih The Dukes said: “We’ve been working hard on it and have an early draft script which we hope captures the essence and variety of stories we collected.

“There are three main ones, all based on real people we met who shared their experiences with us, and then lots of other ensemble voices appearing at certain moments. We hope these three main stories represent the range of experiences within the district.”

“It’s as much a story about change in the area (including memories of Frontierland in Morecambe and its disappearance), and about the journey from childhood to adulthood as well.”

Mr Summers is building a community company of 16-20 people to perform the piece, and a community casting event was held on July 31 at The Dukes Centre for Creative Learning in Moor Lane, with another open access casting event betweeen 11am and 12.30pm on Saturday August 5.