A Great Fear of Shallow Living

A good storytelling piece is lovely. We evolved by telling stories. It is the oldest form of theatre. A Great Fear of Shallow Living is set up in a classic storytelling way. The performance is ideally located in a small and intimate venue and accompanied live music. This kind of performance speaks to the archaic in all of us, to the primal desire to hear stories that entertain, frighten and teach.

I felt like a child again, being read this story by my mother

The story follows a young selkie who is afraid of the sea because when she was younger, her father cursed her with ambition. This ambition blinds her and she is left constantly looking for her one desire. The story of the selkie is a well-known folk tale in Scotland, Ireland and some of the Scandinavian countries. The selkie is a seal who can shed its hide to reveal a beautiful woman beneath. Most stories of the selkie include her falling in love with a human who steals her hide when he learns the truth so that she can never return to the sea and must remain bound to him. Cut off from her one true love, she grows desperate until she either finds the hide or kills herself.

The piece opens with beautiful singing that accompanies it throughout most of the performance, underscoring the magical realism and making it almost solid enough to touch. The actors move around the stage with great intention, creating atmosphere before starting the story. The language of the text is antiquated and fitting for this piece, and it runs in a smooth, polished way.

I felt like a child again, being read this story by my mother. It’s a great piece to bring your children to. The costumes and set are very fitting: just like fairy tales are not set in a certain period, just once upon a time, so this piece clearly takes place ‘once upon a time’. A time that could be now or 30 years from now. Fantastically well-done piece. 

Reviews by Disa Andersen

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A Great Fear of Shallow Living

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Funny, moving, bold. A Great Fear of Shallow Living is a trilogy of stories about being torn, about needing to be two things but having to be one. Inspired by the Celtic legend of the Selkie, these familiar stories with unfamiliar twists will have you itching to shed your skin and slip into forbidden, forgotten waters. In Tandem Theatre Company use live folk music and the modern chorus to bring a spellbinding physical life to myth. Previous work: 'magical, fast paced, compelling' **** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Absorbing' **** (Stage). 'Uncanny, intense, and brilliantly entertaining' ***** (FringeReview.co.uk).

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