Review: Sea Changes at Etcetera Theatre, London

Wednesday 7th August 2019 at the Etcetera Theatre, London.


Three women, all grieving, all revealed to be living with complicated feelings and connections to the stories of the departed. In Marina Jenkyns’ thirty minute play, we are given a well observed and well performed study of loss.

Sea Changes is very well written, though a little uneven in places. A sense of mystery shrouds the story of Julie Binysh’s character and we never really get answers though the journey of niggling contemplations is delivered well in its angst. Mimi Malaz Bashir’s character has perhaps the most hard-hitting story and Jenkyn’s writing is at its structural best in the painfully ordinary telling of a story which ends in tragedy. Yet although on paper it should probably be the most emotively powerful, approaching the tale in an understated way (which Bashir does brilliantly) does feel a little underdone in places considering the subject matter.

The best of the writing lies in the telling of Orla Sanders‘s character’s tale. It’s the story which carries the most humour and the most development as the narrative moves gradually towards a reveal which gives the story as a whole deeper impact and in broader terms. Sanders handles the balance of dark humour, rational resignation and latent devastation beautifully.

There’s poetry in the writing across the stories of the women which lends itself well to the subject matter. Jill Patterson‘s direction is well considered and well developed and having the narratives of the women interweaving gives the piece as a whole a sense of propulsion suited to the running theme of unstoppable forces and the unstoppable sighs of discontent. It also makes for active and engaging storytelling.

This is a well structured and engaging work which delves into universal themes of love, loss and family. It’s a well considered piece with plenty of pathos and even if it doesn’t break new ground, it explores something relatable and moving very well.

Sea Changes plays the Etcetera Theatre until Friday 9th August 2019 as part of the Camden Fringe – tickets here.

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