An act brimming with eccentricity and intrigue, Swallow the Sea Caravan Theatre are part mime and part immersive theatre. At times their work feels like an abstract painting has come to life, the colourfully anoraked and playful cast jolting and shifting across the stage like a troupe of avant-garde Teletubbies. It may feel a little aimless, but it is a strangely entertaining and brief slice of escapism from anything resembling a normal way of seeing the world.
The bliss of this twenty-minute show may be that there is no point to it at all. Perhaps it just isn’t made clear enough, but such is the drive for anything to have significance in live performance that something that feels almost without deeper purpose is almost refreshing. Instead, you are invited to sit back and stare adoringly at a pure scene of creative thought: an orchestrated set of movements and situations where nothing seems too strange. The three-strong cast are virtually expressionless throughout, instead relying on erratic movements and elegantly choreographed object theatre to communicate with the audience. They more than play their part in building the strange little world that encompasses the show.
The movement of the props and objects on the stage takes on a strangely beautiful quality, the moving of shapes in and out of holes in the wall feeling almost therapeutic in its considered approach. There is no dialogue at any point; the set and actions themselves are instead expected to speak to you. It is as thoughtfully planned and oddball a show as the Fringe could ever be known for. This quirky, hypnotic show is a source of reassurance that, after a year without live theatre, there is still room to celebrate the unconventional.
Swallow The Sea offer an escape from what you would call the sensibilities of normal life. Their show might ultimately feel inconsequential, but it will stay with you – if for no other reason than you are trying to work out what is going on. Charming, weird and inventive, Swallow The Sea have made an art of making the abstruse something you can at least start to understand.