Earwig is an engaging and classy piece which tells the story of entomologist Marigold Webb, trapped in a loveless marriage and a society as uncomfortable with her deafness as it is her gender. Bereft of a father’s financial protection, and juggling a silly mother and prat of a husband, Marigold finds some solace in the order of her insect world and the support of her one true friend.
An engaging and classy lesson to all of us to remain true to ourselves and search for beauty in unexpected places
Marigold is a composite of several women whose contributions to science have remained as largely neglected in history as they were at the time, and Time & Again theatre company specialise in shining a light on these forgotten stories and their ongoing relevance.
The narrative is deftly woven through use of the spoken word, projections, mime and British Sign Language. It covers historic attitudes to deafness and equality with depth and insight but there is a lightness threaded through the production which seems to emanate from Marigold’s indefatigable spirit. Jazz music and the use of silent movie title cards evokes a strong sense of the 1927 period, and the cleverly crafted script suggests the brittle conversational style whilst retaining immediacy for a modern audience. Crucially, the show is accessible too for a Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing audience, with some performances being interpreted into BSL.
The cast are able to convey significant emotional scope and draw us into their lives with ease; whilst the messages inherent in both the text and subtext are fully communicated with style and understanding.
Earwig is a rather beautiful little play, which, although primarily focusing on Marigold’s particular story, is a lesson to all of us to remain true to ourselves and search for beauty in unexpected places.