"Promising play about accepting change"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 31/03/17

“Sea Fret”, written by Tallulah Brown and directed by Carla Kingham, running at the Old Red Lion is a four handed play about whether it is better to embrace or resist change. Lucy (Georgia Kerr) and Ruby’s (Lucy Carless) friendship is threatened by Lucy’s imminent departure for university. Meanwhile Lucy’s mother Pam (Karen Brooks) and Ruby’s father Jim (Philippe Spall) are fighting to get the local authority to save their homes, which are on a beach, from being swallowed up by the sea.

The first half of the play mainly focuses on Lucy and Ruby’s relationship. Sadly, there is only so much mileage that you can get from teenage girls swigging alcopops and gossiping. The action only really starts when a tragic event throws everyone’s plans into disarray, and divides the two families, that the action begins to really get going. However, the second act is much more interesting as we get to see how only three months of separation have completely changed each of the characters, including the two adults.

While Spall’s iterant drug dealer and Carless’s tearaway are the most strongly defined, Kerr and Brooks also put in good performances, with Kerr providing a sensible counterpoint to her maniac companion. Some of the dialogue is snappy, containing such lines as “we make a good team because you care about the community and I don’t, that way we keep all our options open”. The set, designed by Ruta Irbite, also helps bring the Suffolk coast to the intimate space of the Old Red Lion.

Overall, Sea Fret is a promising play, though the early scenes need some trimming.

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