REVIEW: Weston’s Marine Lake is setting for world premier of show

Marine Lake. Picture: Paul Blakemore

Marine Lake. Picture: Paul Blakemore - Credit: Archant

After what has seemed like an age I was looking forward to a return to some live theatre and what better way to overcome the problems of social distancing than setting a show in Weston’s Marine Lake to the backdrop of the setting sun?

Martin Bongerat Marine Lake. Picture: Paul Blakemore

Martin Bongerat Marine Lake. Picture: Paul Blakemore - Credit: Archant

Last night (Friday) saw the world premier of This Crossing, a piece of performance art inspired by writer and director Martin Bonger’s own experiences of becoming a father and surviving a traumatic accident, brought to the seafront by LittleMighty, Theatre Orchard and Culture Weston.

With original music, storytelling and the stunning view, the play is billed as ‘a timely, tender story mixed intimate emotions with the backdrop of a world in flux’.

The audience was handed a set of headphones on arrival and asked to sit on the concrete step-seats dotted along the side of the lake, making it perfect for spacing out families.

We were then transported to two worlds, 1349 in the time of the Black Death and the present day, with the introduction of two characters, Fay and John, who both have three-day old babies. The tale unravels as they make the same journey to the sea, 668 years apart, bound together by the shock of having created life. They are running away from the rush of emotion and fear that comes with new love.

Dorian Simpson and Kim Heron performin in This Crossing. Picture: Paul Blakemore

Dorian Simpson and Kim Heron performin in This Crossing. Picture: Paul Blakemore - Credit: Archant


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The beautiful late summer’s evening really was the star of the show as the dappled light fell across the ripples in the water and while misty-eyed by the spectacle the audience gradually realised two actors have taken on the roles of the characters revealed to us in the narrated storyline and are standing on The Causeway in the distance.

The whole experience completely takes you away from the problems of your own lives and immerses you in the emotions and overwhelming darkness the characters are feeling in each moment. It almost sends you into a meditative state just watching the actors get swept away on their journeys, joined by a third later in the story, who actually crosses the lake, fully-clothed, much to the bemusement of passers-by, even today being talked about on social media, representing the crossing the central characters make in their journey back to a better state of mind and eventually, contentment.

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So, if you are looking for something a bit different to do this weekend and fancy being taken out of the real world for an hour, while appreciating the beauty on our doorstep, why not pop along and check it out? Bring a warm jacket though, as it does get a tad chilly once the sun goes down!

This Crossing is at Marine Lake, Weston, tonight (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) with performances, suitable for ages 14 and over, at 6pm.

Dorian Simpson and Kim Heron performin in This Crossing. Picture: Paul Blakemore

Dorian Simpson and Kim Heron performin in This Crossing. Picture: Paul Blakemore - Credit: Archant

Tickets for the show cost £10 and are available from www.cultureweston.org.uk

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