Gintaras Lazickas joins UK Theatre Tour with 'The Freshwater Five'

4/25/20244 min read

Gintaras Lazickas in 'The Freshwater Five' 2024 UK Tour

'The Freshwater Five' is a compelling theatrical production inspired by the acclaimed Guardian podcast 'Today in Focus.' This innovative show melds storytelling, verbatim accounts, inventive stagecraft, poetry, and song to delve deeply into a variety of themes. These include classical and contemporary smuggling, the decline of coastal communities, immigration, and folklore, providing a rich tapestry of narrative and cultural exploration. The production's distinctive approach offers audiences a multifaceted experience that is both thought-provoking and visually captivating.

At the heart of this production is the talented Gintaras Lazickas, who is embarking on his first UK theatre tour. Lazickas brings a unique blend of cultural insight and artistic prowess to the stage, making his involvement in 'The Freshwater Five' particularly noteworthy. His background in diverse theatrical traditions and his passion for storytelling have prepared him well for this challenging role. Lazickas has expressed immense excitement about joining the cast, seeing it as a significant milestone in his career.

In 'The Freshwater Five,' Lazickas will be taking on the pivotal role of Zoran Dresic, who together with Jamie Green, Jon Beere, Daniel Payne and Scott Birtwistle, all fishermen from the Isle of Wight, were sentenced in 2011 to a total of 104 years imprisonment for conspiracy to import £53m worth of cocaine. They have always pleaded their innocence and their story has been dividing the community on the Isle of Wight ever since. 2019 brought new evidence in that cast doubt on the previous convictions.

Gintaras' role will require not only a deep understanding of the character’s personal journey, but also a broader comprehension of the socio-political contexts addressed in the play. To prepare for this role, Lazickas has engaged in extensive research, delving into historical accounts of smuggling and the socio-economic impacts on coastal communities. His commitment to authenticity is evident in his meticulous study of immigration patterns and folklore, which are integral to the narrative.

The casting of Gintaras Lazickas is a testament to the production's dedication to authenticity and depth. His performance is anticipated to bring a nuanced and compelling dimension to 'The Freshwater Five,' making it a must-see for theatre enthusiasts and followers of contemporary socio-political narratives alike.

The production of 'The Freshwater Five' represents a meticulously crafted theatrical experience, spearheaded by the award-winning Isle of Wight company Deadman. Under the artistic direction of Samuel Bossman and the accomplished playwright Liam Patrick Harrison, the play has garnered significant acclaim since its inception. The previous success of the production is evidenced by its sell-out tour across coastal communities in 2023, a testament to its compelling narrative and impactful performances.

The decision to extend the reach of 'The Freshwater Five' to a broader audience was driven by both its critical success and the pressing themes it addresses. The play delves into the ancient and complex profession of smuggling, a practice that has evolved but remains pertinent in contemporary society. Through its evocative storytelling, 'The Freshwater Five' sheds light on socio-cultural issues such as community decline and immigration, offering a nuanced exploration of these topics.

The collaborative efforts of the South Coast cast and creatives have been instrumental in bringing this powerful story to life. Their dedication to authentically portraying the realities faced by individuals involved in smuggling and the communities affected by it adds depth to the narrative. The play's ability to resonate with audiences lies in its reflection on the timeless nature of these issues, highlighting their continued relevance and prompting thoughtful discourse.

Addressing themes of justice, struggle, and resilience, 'The Freshwater Five' not only entertains but also educates and engages its viewers. The production’s success in coastal areas underscores its connection with local histories and contemporary challenges, making it a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of smuggling on communities. By bringing this story to a wider audience, Deadman aims to foster a greater understanding of these complex issues, bridging the past with the present in a compelling theatrical journey.

The 2024 tour dates have been announced, featuring a range of performances in various cities across the UK. The tour will kick off on Thursday, March 21st at 7pm at the Mast Mayflower Studios in Southampton. From there, the tour will visit various other locations, as follows:

Thursday 25 April (8pm) | Horton Chapel (Epsom) Friday 26th Apr (7:30pm) | The Place Theatre (Bedford) Saturday 27th April (7:30pm) | The Ark (Margate) Wednesday 1st May (7:30pm) | Art Depot Studio (London) Thursday 2nd May (7:30pm) | Wells Maltings (Wells Next The Sea) Friday 3rd May (8pm) | Old Town Hall (Hemel Hempstead) Tuesday 7th May (7:30pm) | The Ropetackle (Shoreham By Sea) Wednesday 8th May (7:30pm) | EM. Forster Theatre (Tonbridge) Thursday 9th May (7:30pm) | The Atrium (Worthing) Friday 10th May (7:30pm) | Malting Tindle (Farnham) Saturday 11th May (7:30pm) | The Exchange (Twickenham) Sunday 12th May (7:30pm) | Art Centre (Cranleigh) Wednesday 15th May (8pm) | South Street (Reading) Thursday 16th May (7:30pm) | Spring Art & Heritage Centre (Havant) Friday 17th May (7:30pm) | Phoenix: (Bordon) Saturday 18th May (8pm) | Old Fire Station (Oxford)n (Oxford)

Don't miss out on this exciting tour!