ED2023 Reviews ED2023 Theatre Reviews

Sea Words (Olly Gully in association with NTA Productions)

By | Published on Thursday 17 August 2023

Who doesn’t love to be beside the seaside? The bright lights, the flaking paint, the rotting cast-iron pier, the blasted promenades. Surely Chris, our host, with his crimson cummerbund and his rictus grin, will show us a jolly old time? But where’s the other half of this all-in-the-family double act – his mother Christine? No matter: Chris can keep the show going by himself, a joking, dancing, miming one-man band. When Christine finally makes her voice heard, things take a turn from ‘the show must go on’ to ‘not waving but drowning’. Olly Gully is virtuosic as Chris, with excellent physical comedy and smooth are-you-being-served patter. But this impressive performance, though pretty funny, doesn’t plumb the emotional depths it hints at.

Summerhall, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Alexander Hartley]