Jethro Compton presents Sirenia
Remarkable theatrical intensity in a sorrowful tale of a lonely lighthouse keeper and a sinister visitor
This article is from 2015.
Alone in a far-flung Cornish lighthouse, lighthouse keeper Isaac receives garbled warnings of an impending violent storm, only to discover a mysterious, half-dead figure washed up on the rocks below his towering home. But as he tries to comfort and care for his otherworldly visitor, he returns inevitably to memories of love and loss that he has long tried to suppress.
Sirenia is clearly a labour of love for ex-Belt Up mover and shaker Jethro Compton – he wrote it, directed it, built the set and designed the lighting. And the care he’s taken with the show is more than evident throughout – in the convincingly ramshackle lighthouse room the tiny audience is crammed into (in one of C nova’s more far-flung corners); in his lyrical, laconic script; and in his sure-handed direction, which manages to make the drama both persuasively naturalistic and infused with the rich flavours of myth and folklore.
Rob Pomfret cuts a strikingly haggard figure as the taciturn Isaac, and Evie Tyler captures the vulnerability and threat of his enigmatic visitor beautifully. Jonny Sims’ evocative music, often emerging from the crackle of radio interference, adds enormously to the production’s sorrowful atmosphere. It’s a brief show (just 40 mins) for just a dozen or so viewers, but its remarkably intense, focused acting and direction means it packs a mighty emotional punch.
C nova, 0845 260 1234, until 31 Aug (not 17), times vary, £11.50–£13.50 (£9.50–£11.50).