#24 A Heart at Sea

Theatre Pleasance Courtyard

A musical folk tale of a young man's heart lost at sea, and the adventure he has with an old sea captain in order to retrieve it. The story is told with puppets, a transforming treasure chest miniature set, and a live original score.

In A Heart at Sea, the performing duo has produced an ambitious, busy family gig-play of the sea, where unfortunately both the story and its telling fail to make it aboard.

The characters and their puppet manifestations come off us unrelatable and unconvincing, with the notable exception of the whales. The story, as told, is neither funny or moving. There is little magic, and hardly any depths in the presented world. The set looks and feels wooden, simultaneously being too elaborate and too showy for the simplicity of the storytelling, and not magical enough to pull you in by itself.

The puppetry is watchable, but no amount of subterfuge will mask 20 seconds of scene building in the middle of a show.

The drama sucker punches you right from the start, but then barely follows through at all. There is little to care about here.

The singing and playing is passable, but the score is weak and full of forgettable folksy tunes all alike. The needlessly through-sung story is barely narrated, let alone elevated by the music. Showy sound-effects miss the mark, through the audience participation was quite charming.

A flat story brought down by too many bells and whistles shoved on top of it. The show is missing perhaps an extra player or extra resources to tighten the action and help create the world. Above all, a hard look at the story being told is needed.

I would like to hear a more focused, simple, honest story from this likeable duo.