Whale Music by Anthony Minghella
Directed by Anthony Marulanda-Carter
Bath Spa University
The Rondo Theatre
Whale Music by Anthony Minghella is a piece which looks at the identity and close relationships of a group of female friends and charts their individual growth over a period of time. It is nice to see a piece written entirely for a female cast in an often male dominated industry even if some of the characters are written slightly as stereotypes.
The cast of talented young students offer excellent and believable representations of the characters. The emotive and heartfelt journey of Caroline performed beautifully by Jessica Harwood gives us an honest and intimate portrayal of her journey through the piece. For me the stand out performance of the night came from Olivia Steel playing Stella, the performance seemed effortless, her character well rounded and completely authentic at all times. In fact all of the actors, even those playing smaller parts of nurses did so with great attack and energy and should be commended for their work.
A soundtrack of cleverly chosen eighties music perfectly links scenes together and helps set the style and tone of the piece appropriately. It would have perhaps been nice to see some of the link music then underscoring the scenes through the radio rather than changing the songs but it is also clear why specific music was chosen to underscore the particular scenes. Projection was used to help cover some of the slightly long scene changes – this was interesting to watch but perhaps as a device it could have been used more? Sound design was well orchestrated with immersive surround sound effects throughout the piece. Lighting was atmospheric at all times, the beach scene is one that stands out as particularly nicely lit with different shades of orange and blue giving a real sense of the scene.
On the whole this production is well worth seeing. It is a credit to the many talented students involved both on and off stage. It is a real team effort and a great achievement. You can’t help getting caught up in the story and leaving the theatre feeling you’ve been on a journey. Great job all around!
The production runs until Saturday at the Rondo Theatre with a matinee performance on the Saturday.