The eighties are calling: The Ocean At The End of The Lane @NationalTheatre
Opening with a funeral, a man returns to his hometown and stops by the place where he remembers a girl called Lettie who he knew as a young man. There he encounters her grandmother again and soon is transported back to the time when they knew each other as a boy, which just so happens to be the early 1980s.
The next day the worm turns out to be a woman called Ursula with a penchant for cooking and wearing fabulous high-waist acid wash jeans. The rest is probably best left to experience first hand...
While on one level it's another childhood adventure, it's told with great theatrical flair. Puppetry, movement, sound and dramatic effects are all deployed to evoke another world. Samuel Blenkin as the "boy" and Marlie Siu as Lettie are engaging as the two loners from different worlds. Pippa Nixon makes a delightful villain of the piece.
A show that explores memories of childhood makes it easy to transport yourself back to the time. Particularly if you're a child of the eighties, the retro looks will be all-too-familiar. While on one level, it was a simpler time, the piece is a reminder that childhood can be scary in any period. Regardless of whether the fears are real imagined. It runs until 25 January.
Photos by Manuel Harlan