In My Lungs The Ocean Swells
Cavern – The Vaults
Reviewed – 6th February 2020
“there is also playful joy, real warmth, and two people who we immediately like”
This two hander is part tale of growing up, friendship and love, part lament for the fishing industry and part meditation on the sea. It is also wholly engaging and moving. Jenny Walser and Jack Brownridge-Kelly play friends since childhood who become something more. But what happens when one of you is embedded in a place, part of it, and the other needs to get away and build a different kind of life?
He comes from a long line of fishermen, men of the sea. He’s never wanted to do anything else. She wants more, something different, and moves to the city. But they are central to each other’s lives.
There is a mystical thread of ancient ocean running through the play, woven into the present day narrative; an underpinning of deep time carried by wave and storm. The plight of fishing communities in a time when fish stocks have shrunk dramatically, creating unemployment and despair is another thread, and there is also playful joy, real warmth, and two people who we immediately like.
Grace Venning’s simple and effective set is augmented by atmospheric lighting, designed by Joe Price and by Annie May Fletcher’s soundscape that somehow mixes with the noise of trains passing overhead to evoke the wash and rumble of the ocean. The Cornish coast comes alive in this setting, populated by a community we meet through the two character’s stories and memories, and their warm Cornish Accents. It’s a lovely piece of directing from Tash Hyman, using the traverse layout effectively and supporting her actors to create a believable world and tell a very human story.
Reviewed by Katre
Photography by Oliver Bryant