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Way Out West, the Sea Whispered Me (Tour - Newcastle)

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
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Northumbria University Theatre

Cupola Bobber is a collaboration between Stephen Fiehn and Tyler Myers. Myers and their tour of Way Out West, the Sea Whispered Me is co-produced by the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster and funded by the Nuffield Theatre and The National Lottery through the Arts Council.

The hour long production studies "the action of the Sea, both as a mythology and as a presence" according to the programme. But as the lights came on after the production, the young woman’s voice behind me said it all "I just did not get it" she exclaimed to her friends and I noted there was no offer of an explanation forthcoming, just an awkward silence.

There is humour certainly in the production, mainly at the end as one of the duo, stripped to the waist rolls around on the floor, showering the front rows with sand, from the sand castles he had made earlier.

The production is based on a white canvas sheet and starts with the duo dragging a couple of suitcases around while tied together for about fifteen minutes, stopping occasionally to build sandcastles and sweep them up again. One of them carries a wind up gramophone and a 1931 recording of Underneath the Arches, by Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen, plays over and over again. Unfortunately it is very quiet and I did wonder how many of the young audience would have even heard of the two entertainers. But later a 1937 recording of a Laurel and Hardy song from the film Way Out West and Bring Me Sunshine, forever associated with Morecambe and Wise, were better received.

Unfortunately the performance failed to grab the attention of the audience and there was much checking of watches and whispered conversations during the hour.

There is no doubting Cupola Bobber have a following and to meet that demand this production is on a national tour until 25 November, which includes playing the SACRED at the Chelsea Theatre on 14 November


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