The male characters are named after their jobs – Farmer, Translator, Captain, Trader – and sometimes that is all we know about them. They are representative rather than real. Evie stands out as someone different, caught between her world and a world of dreams. The ‘locals’ take it in turns to give a short monologue before each scene: in the first half this adds colour and tone to the story, but in the second half these monologues foreshadow events in a deliberately misleading way. Particularly to be recommended is Bob Booth as the world-weary Captain, who has lost the enthusiasm of his youth; Nick Gale, too, is a realistically cynical Trader and Audrina Oakes-Cottrell makes a convincing 16-year-old Evie, whose youthful ardour manages to break through the Captain’s indifference, fill him with an unlikely dream and ultimately bring the play to an unexpected and dramatic end. The set worked very well as a backdrop to events.
The play has some wonderfully lyrical moments, starting with the first monologue, and the foreshadowing technique is highly effective, but sometimes the play fails to deliver its promise and you are left wishing that more could have been said. There are moments of humour (watch out for Daffy Duck!) but more could have been made of the translations; that they could be both amusing as well as dangerous when mistranslated is touched upon, but this is a rich seam that the play does not exploit to the full. Nevertheless, this is a topical, thought-provoking play which is well-worth seeing.