Fevered Sleep, Shore

Review in Issue 11-4 | Winter 1999

Shore takes a whimsical look at the seaside, presenting a series of snapshot sketches that both parody and pay tribute to seaside culture. It is a show packed with ideas – Punch and Judy, peppermint rock, deckchairs, bingo, chips in paper, freezing toes, melancholic moonlight serenades... So many ideas, in fact, that I was left with the impression that the company had such fun workshopping the material that they couldn't bear to leave anything out. Sometimes there isn't enough breathing space to savour the best moments, and although I appreciate that the company wanted to present a pick 'n' mix of ideas, I found the changes in mood quite difficult to adjust to.

Where the production particularly excels, however, is in its musicality. The recurring motif of the 'lost soul' accordion player, the seashore guitarist, and the gruesomely funny end-of-the-pier entertainer, are three particular strengths. The company demonstrate a use of sound that reflects a real understanding of musical possibilities in performance – in the percussive sounds of pebbles dropped and dragged, for example. In another striking moment, the power of language as pure sound and rhythm is explored in a scene where three people each hold up a holiday snapshot and simultaneously tell their stories; the resulting medley is a symphony of voices in harmony and counterpoint. Despite its flaws, Shore is a quirky and engaging show that brings a smile to the face and a taste of salt to the lips; a bitter-sweet evocation of seaside life and a reminder that we are never far away from the sea.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1999

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-4
p. 21