The Sea, Tom Froy, Camden People’s Theatre, 01/03/2018
Hark! It’s March! And there is a freak snow, ‘the beast from the east’. One might consider this the perfect opportunity to relax and snuggle at home. However, we Lasses (on press duties) ventured out to the Camden People’s Theatre to review Tom Froy’s ‘The Sea’. Advertised as a piece about loneliness in the big city, our expectations were set at a fair rate, considering our experiences two and a half years ago as newbies to the Capital.
Having chatted prior to the performance, I glean that from my limited knowledge of the playwright, it felt like a semi-biographical piece about ones experience of London as a young adult – understanding Tom is a country mouse thrust into the hustle and bustle of the big city – shown by the consistent relation to green spaces (namely Hackney Marshes).
I gather this to be a play about solitude, rather than loneliness – two social statuses that I believe to be similar, but quite different. To define loneliness I would demand a single character reflecting significantly on their status as a lonely individual, incapable of creating relations, making new friends. Rather, I feel this piece exhibits a character who appears to experience lonely episodes – including following someone home which is quite frankly really creepy. If the intention was romanticism I do see it’s aim – however when exhibiting work that is based on behaviours crafted from an interpersonal perspective I still feel one must be as careful as possible when presenting such dangerous habits in a romantic frame. The presentation of this did make me as an audience member feel uncomfortable.
You can tell it’s written by a philosophy student – whose taste in music is excellent, but in some points quite unnecessary. The work was supported by a wonderfully talented actress who carried most of the play as a solo performance – particularly the first act. She deserves as much credit as one can give!
So, to summarise, Tom Froy has so much promise as a playwright but this defiantly feels like an early career play; one that with workshops and development could be fantastic. As it stands it is entertaining and provocative but it could be enhanced by a variety of voices being shown. Perhaps from collaboration – verbatim could be wholesome in this narrative!