‘Black Saturday’ to tell the story of the Louth Flood of 1920

A dramatised account of the Louth Flood of 1920 will be coming to the Riverhead Theatre later this week.

The scene of devastation after the Louth Flood in 1920. (Photo: Louth Town Council).

‘Black Saturday’ tells the story of a local newspaper reporter Jim Steele, enjoying his life in Louth, two years after the end of World War I.

The big boys from Fleet Street descend on the town to cover a Parliamentary by-election and his head is turned.

But, before the vote can take place, the biggest disaster in Louth’s history kills 23 people and leaves hundreds homeless. Nobody’s life will be the same again — not even Jim’s.

The commemorative plaque in Spout Yard Park.

‘Black Saturday’ is based on contemporaneous newspaper accounts and eye-witness memories: stories of family tragedy and incredible heroism that have shaped today’s town.

Authors John and Victoria Taylor are Lincolnshire-born journalists. Victoria first became interested in the Louth Flood when she questioned why a cherished portrait of her great grandmother had a dirty watermark across its middle.

John began his career in newspapers as a local cub reporter at the Louth Standard.

On the strength of the script, its importance and relevance, Black Saturday was promptly given the green-light by the Riverhead Producers, an offshoot company of the Louth Riverhead Theatre and Playgoers Society that specialises in bespoke, challenging and unique events across the town.

Run by producer and award-winning playwright John Hewer, the production was initially scheduled to coincide with the centenary last year, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

‘Black Saturday’ now emerges as the first indoor public performance at the theatre since October last year.

The production premiers at the Louth Riverhead Theatre this Thursday and Friday (July 29 and July 30) starting at 7.30pm.

l Tickets are £5.50 and are available online at www.louthriverheadtheatre.com, at the box office, or by calling 01507 600350.