‘Slowly the seasons merge. Boiling in April, raining in August. You can’t predict two good days in a row, can’t predict a good day from a bad one. Then it’s hot, too hot. All the ice cream melts down to their elbows before they get back to their towels. So, she drives a little bit closer but eventually she finds there is nowhere to park. All the usual little bits of the beach they sit on have been gobbled up by the sea’.
When 24 year old Bess Malone steals from the local ice cream van she doesn’t expect it to impact her life at all. She doesn’t expect that soon she’ll be able to reel off every ice cream flavour there is or that she’ll know all the tunes an ice cream van can play, and she certainly doesn’t expect to find a new friendship with the van’s owner Brian.
In a place and time not so unimaginably different from now, due to unreliable British Summertimes and rising sea levels in coastal towns, the ice cream man has become extinct. Shifting between surreal narration and the very real world of Bess in her hometown as she processes her despair at the ever-altering world around her, Bess finds herself increasingly drawn from her place as an outsider to someone at the heart of her community, through the ripple effects of something much bigger than herself. An honest look at climate change, grief, and changing landscapes in British seaside towns, Cornish playwright Zoe Alker’s new play asks why we ignore the signs the weather is sending us, and what life on the British coastlines could look like if we do.
Content Warnings: Contains themes and discussion of grief and loss (Sound & Light related content warnings TBC)