Tag Archives: Ben Spring

“Salmon” at the Vault Festival

Eve and Sea Productions, created by Eva Lily and Constance Eldon McCaig, tackles themes of grief, depression and drug use with its premier show. It is an insightful piece that boasts a strong performance but loses its way with surreal touches.

Angus, devastated by a recent bereavement, is a well-drawn character and the details of his life on a Scottish island are convincing. Joshua Going’s delivery of the role deserves praise. Here’s a recognisable young man, now a little too old to party, dissatisfied with the options on offer if he wants to grow up. Going shows confusion, desperation and anger, while making the metaphorical mentions of Angus’ favourite fish (arguably overused) an endearing obsession. The delivery is bold – showing strong directorial decisions – as Angus stumbles physically and mentally trying to remember a recent past while lost in a drug- and grief-induced haze.

It’s understandable that the script contains crazed moments, not a bad idea in itself, but unfortunately the delivery of trippy panic or anxious paranoia causes problems. There are technical issues (the voiceovers are difficult to hear). And it doesn’t help that both performers joining Going, Eden Hastings and Ben Spring, double up roles that are so different. While overlapping conversations work well, showing a talented team, too many superficial touches, from sound design to costume, feel predictable. Trying – but not quite managing – to be crazy creates a disappointing aftertaste to a play that has potential.

Until 14 February 2020