South Street Arts Centre
Stepping into a seaside postcard with Sara Davies’s short and sweet poetic performance at South Street Arts Centre as part of Sitelines festival is a charming experience.
Gentle and restrained, this piece aims to recreate a memory of a place that, whilst held very dear, is now far away. This memory is nostalgic and tinged with longing; it is a peaceful, quiet memory that, even if you haven’t grown up near the sea, takes you to any place, physical or emotional, that fills you with a warm, poignant nostalgia.
You take the performer's hand as she guides you into her windbreaker-lined nest and asks you to step into a paddling pool of warm water, ornamented with seashells, then she begins her poetic homage to her seaside hometown.
Each detail of the audience’s experience is carefully thought through in this one-on-one performance, from the sandy water into which you dip your feet to the hot sip of tea and the custard cream.
More performance poetry or live art than theatre, this is an intimate little moment, a postcard of home, that is not over cluttered or over thought, but simply and delicately presented to each audience member. As a performer, she exhibits a somewhat self-conscious quality; however there is something about this that makes it feel honest.
Some text is a little lost to the crunching of biscuits as it is played on a very quiet voice recorder, but, despite this, the change of pace breaks the pattern of the piece well and helps transport you back, as if it were a captured voice, a recorded memory.
There is nothing not to like in this piece; it leaves you smiling and thoughtful.
Reviewer: Liz Allum