Tuesday, 5 November 2013


I wrote a while back about Hymas&Lewis's new work in progress. The piece is almost finished, with the more limbo-inducing name Sealegs - that phenomena of our brains adapting to motion, which induces dizziness, disorientation and sometimes seasickness, the transition into the other world of being at sea.

We're performing a 20 minute excerpt of it in Lancaster on Thursday 21 November, which I'm all a jitter about. The whole piece is approximately 50 minutes so it was an interesting exercise to extract 20 minutes that held a sense of the narrative, without giving everything away, and was coherent enough to pull the audience into our seaworld.

It's the first long piece we've made together, and while it has very different componants (of poetic styles and instruments - voice, guitar, concertina and shruti) the themes, refrains and loose narrative do ensure a journey through the piece.

The connecting narrative is of my first encounter of sailing, a baptism by fire in the South Pacific. This was over twenty years ago, so it's interspersed with shanty-like reflections on other sailors, a maritime legacy as it were, and the detail of life on board: the claustrophobia, expanse, freedom, comradship, and bloody hard work; anxiety, boredom, tension.

All this is delivered, we hope, with a strong dose of humour, synchronicity, passion and empathy. Certainly these were present in the devising, so should be present in the performance. Like actually having sealegs, the show's intention is to be consuming and illusory, playful and intense, an experience once felt not forgotten.

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