The Sea Child

The Sea Child, adapted by Carolyn Sloan from her novel of the same name, is a tender and evocative play. It tells the story of Jessie, a young girl who lives alone with her father in The Sands, a place where houses (according to legend) disappeared under the sea thirty years ago. One day Jessie, the mysterious sea-child, ventures into the mainland where she meets a girl called Lisa.

The actors brim with potential.

A lot of effort has clearly been put into producing this show. This is evident in its excellent choice of costumes and set design. The acting is generally robust and convincing and we are treated to some fine vocal renditions of Blow the Man Down and My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.

Although The Sea Child is well executed, it never quite manages to overcome the flaws in its script. The story moves at a slow pace – it could do with a lot more trimming and tightening. It is also frustratingly unfocused in some areas. Even if the intention might well have been to convey a sense of dreaminess and mystery, the various elements of the show – and unfortunately the audience’s attention as well – have a tendency to wander adrift.

The show would be a lot more compelling if the number of cast members were significantly reduced. As many as seventeen characters appear on stage at the same time, making the space feel needlessly cluttered.

The movements of the actors are largely well-choreographed. However, one or two scenes involving Jessie and Lisa where they are clambering over the shoulders of several upright actors seem a bit too complicated and had me worrying that they would bump their heads against a particularly low ceiling beam.

The actors brim with potential. It’s a shame that they are let down by a script which could have been more effectively adapted for the stage. 

Reviews by Toh Wen Li

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Gilded Balloon

The Sea Child

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Everyone in Misterne knows the legend of the sands – and the houses that disappeared beneath the sea 30 years ago. No one could live there now. Except for ghosts. But Jessie, Danny and Bates, the seagull, live there, taking everything they need from the sea and the shore. But when Jessie turns nine she begins to grow more curious. Where does she really belong? The sands, the mainland – or somewhere in between? 'The cast is excellent, the songs are excellent and the show is excellent' ***** (BroadwayBaby.com on 2014's Welcome to Terezin).