Pros: Beautiful set, wonderful writing, magical performances and a truly captivating story.
Cons: Lack of sound proofing in the venue.
The Space, in the heart of the Isle of Dogs, is an almost perfect setting for this beautiful and magical performance. The Lighthouse is a tragic and mesmerising story of how a 14 year old girl – embedded in her own imagination – helps a stranded and historical being who has washed up in her little world.
Rachael Claye’s writing is magnificent. Both the dialogue between the characters, and the moments they spend alone are truly special. Gut-wrenching conversations between Rose and Nikolas leave you wanting to know so much more; we are itching to know who they are and who they came to be. Throughout the play more of their lives and beings unravel and we witness an incredible bond form between this pair.
Set and props had an air of magic and wonderment. The authentic, heavily detailed and jam-packed lighthouse was constantly surprising us with new inventions and pieces of equipment so vital to this story. The interaction that both characters had with the whole set was also thoroughly intriguing. The clever use of lighting to portray the movements of an animal and the change of time periods, plus the effective use of sound were further aspects that added to this wonderfully themed nautical production.
Performances from Annabel Smith (Rose) and Rafe Beckley (Nikolas) were truly compelling to watch. The bond they formed between the two characters within the space and the presentation of their unique worlds were incredible – this is not to be missed. Annabel’s portrayal of a special young girl was wonderfully heart-warming and yet, so heart-breaking too. Rafe’s understanding of Nikolas was captivating and the moments we saw the two versions of himself now and himself as a young boy meet were a delight.
The location of this performance could have been slightly better. With such an intimate setting and very small audience this performance needed no distractions. The lack of sound proofing in this old church room meant that its proximity to the street outside was quite well felt. Any loud conversations outside distracted from the performance at hand, but Annabel and Rafe’s performances always brought us back to this stunning lighthouse.
I feel that this performance can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. Whatever age or background, this production will surely find a warm place in your heart.
Author: Rachael Claye
Director: Danielle McIlven
Designer: Faye Bradley
Lighting Designer: Anna Sbokou
Producer: Space Productions
Booking Until: 31 January 2016
Box Office: 020 7515 7799
Booking Link: https://space.org.uk/event/the-lighthouse/