The Fish Tales of Alaska

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Darkly gleaming tape reel trails across the stage like seaweed and microphones dangle from the rafters like fishing lines in this musically impressive but frustratingly rudderless production about humankind's volatile relationship with the sea.

Lover, mother, friend and foe, the ocean is brought to strange, sensual, surging life by the dissonant choral harmonies and molten movements of six singers/dancers. Observing their moods is a pregnant American woman in a Sarah Lund sweater, who records her solitary vigils on a Dictaphone and worries on and off about unsustainable fishing.

Multi-disciplinary company The Unhidden Collective seems determined to cast the creative net wide with its debut production. So a projector screen also gives us a live shadow puppet folk fable about ignoring 'the warning of the sea', shots of oil paints swirling murkily on water like life in the womb, and fragmented footage of an interview with an Alaskan fisherman.

His memories of 1700-foot waves carrying boats higher than treetops are narrative gold dust, and formed the initial inspiration for this piece. But a connecting storyline of any sort is one of the few things missing from this collection of theatrical flotsam and jetsam – without which, unfortunately, it's unlikely to convert anyone with a fear of the words 'multimedia', 'devised' or 'interpretive dance'.


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