Jemima Foxtrot is a spoken word performer who likes to play with music, sound and words. Above the Mealy-mouthed Sea is a solo show in which Jemima tells stories and inventively employs a loop pedal to build up soundscapes and melodies. These melodies dictate the pace of the performance and allows Jemima to present the story of Above the Mealy-mouthed Sea and take the audience on an engaging and poignant journey.
Memory plays a big part in the show. The performer takes delight in recounting childhood memories of growing up in a small village. Throughout the performance Jemima struggles to tell a joke centred around a posh school kid, a fisherman, a librarian, a latin professor and a head master. The performer interjects the joke telling with flamboyant songs and personal memories, while she seems reluctant to get to the punchline. This could possibly be a frustrating experience, but Jemima manages to make these distractions enjoyable, where the loop pedal creates a hypnotic repetitious soundscape that draws the audience into her stories. At times the looping sounds can overwhelm the storytelling, but Jemima’s distinct voice always seems to rise above the noise and become the focal point of the show.
The music of the performance centres on ballads and forlorn folk music that ache of longing and love. The sea plays a major role in setting the tone of these songs and through the catchy music and evocative words the audience can almost smell the salty air and hear the crashing of waves. Pale blue lights highlight the performer on stage and a messy lump of sand lies in the middle of the performance space. All this contributes to the seaside whimsy of Above the Mealy-mouthed Sea. The show concludes when the audience finally gets to hear the punchline to the joke and we are presented with a satisfying conclusion to an original and enjoyable spoken word theatre show.