Lemon Tree, Aberdeen – 30 October 2008
A topical and thoughtful play, Offshore is set in a small Scottish fishing village where money is scarce and business is slow. It explores just how far people are willing to go for money, raising moral and ethical issues in an entertaining way.
Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is based in Glasgow and accordingly many of the company have trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD). This professional background shows, as we are treated a well written and performed play.
The compact cast suit their roles: Karina Jones really looks like she could be Frida, Kath’s daughter (played by Linda McLaughlin). Nick Field is the likeable Sid, Frida’s love interest. Even the least pleasant characters – Jock and Kerry – are similarly well played – by Bill Mack and Danielle Stewart. They are the outsiders who move into the village and push the locals to their limits.
At first Jock and Kerry seem to be escaping to the country and looking for a new way to make a living. Their constant questioning and businesslike attitude soon puts Frida and Kath on edge and they remain suspicious as the plot unfurls. It soon becomes obvious that the couple have a plan and that it may “rock the boat” with the locals.
The set is simple-looking but versatile, changing from a boat to a shop without the need for much imagination or set-changing. Subtitles are provided above the stage for those who are hard of hearing, although these did distract the normal watcher and it was hard to resist checking if the actors are getting their lines right.
Offshore is enjoyable and professional although unnerving as one questions what oneself would do in the same situation. There is an interesting twist at the end that concludes the evening nicely and leaves the audience bemused at the outcome.
- Maria Robertson