On the Beach (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

On the Beach

Photo: Martin Figura

Quiet and thoughtful monologue reflecting on the British seaside

This love letter to the British seaside from John Osborne, creator of previous Fringe success John Peel’s Shed, is an hour of spoken word theatre meditating on the romantic and sometimes melancholy relationship we have with our beaches.

Accompanied by bursts of seaside music and projections (waves, boats and black-and-white footage of pleasure beach rollercoasters, ice cream cones and glam girls in 1950s swimsuits), the monologue leads us along Weymouth’s seafront during a very British heatwave, peppered with family cricket matches, love notes scrawled into the sand and shops selling footballs in string bags.
‘Some people choose churches to have these big thoughts,’ says Osborne, but beaches are also places of memorial and contemplation, sites of plaques commemorating loved ones who liked to sit and watch the tides. This thoughtful reflection on summer is not powerful theatre, but it might make you think differently about times in your life when you’ve felt pebbly sand under your toes, run screaming into freezing water or had your dad tell you to ‘stop ruining this holiday for everyone’. We’ve all been there.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 12), 3pm, £7.50–£11 (£6–£10).

On the Beach by John Osborne

  • 3 stars

John Osborne shares a particularly notable lunchtime walk along a beach.