Review by Rebecca Smith
“SALT” directed by Angel Exit Theatre and written by Stephanie Dale in co creation with the Poole community was a promenade production which skillfully incorporated the talents of local actors and musicians alongside the audience’s imagination in an effective manner. It was clear from the start that there had been a significant investment of money, time and effort.
The performance transported me back to 1681 to meet the fishermen of Poole who travelled to Newfoundland in search of a better life and plentiful fish to trade. On this occasion, some of the women of Poole also travelled with them, each with their own reasons for making such a perilous journey. I witnessed the challenges faced by those brave pioneers. The actors’ portrayal of the highs and lows experienced in their new lives were heartfelt and ensured I felt empathy towards them. The play’s captivating storytelling, enhanced by the creative use of puppets and small objects, held my attention from start to finish.
The minimalist staging, for example the use of a rope outlining the ship’s form, showcased simplicity and resourcefulness and there was no mistaking the links made with the struggles of 1681 and those that are impacting families today in regard to the cost of living crisis.
Credit should be given to the students at Arts University Bournemouth for the creation of the wonderful costumes. This engaging production certainly had a strong community feel to it, both on stage and backstage, with the hard work of participants of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds from within the local area being well received by the audience.
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