Accès l'Air, Apres La Pluie

Review in Issue 14-3 | Autumn 2002

With simple beginnings – mutterings, the odd word, a candle and a letter which becomes the first shadow screen – the story unfolds of the amazing sea journey of Collette Carrigan’s grandfather. The attic contains seagoing items – a diary which becomes shadow theatre; a ship’s wheel showing shadow sailors; ships which are headdresses lit with little lights. In a strong Liverpool accent Collette accompanies these images with romantic sea shanties.

The humour kicks in with a buxom mermaid who lures the poor seamen to their deaths. Donning a magnificent wig our performer takes on this role around a dressing table with three mirrors, which are in fact, alternatively windows and shadow screens. The plot becomes fantastic and after being totally gripped by the journey through an inventive set, I felt a mood change in the audience.

The lightness was a good contrast but I feel we were not pulled back into the mysterious world which had been established. It could have been done with the underwater sequence but that was weak considering Collette’s obvious talents in creating images. Also the plot became very moral, with the mermaid taking revenge on humans for their treatment of the sea. The idea was good but came from nowhere. It could have been introduced through the medium of the seamen earlier. Before judgements can be dished out, the crime must be established not presumed.

The control and inventiveness of lighting and screens throughout the whole performance was excellent; the use of the set and objects, curious and exciting.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. May 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-3
p. 25