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VocalEye Virtual Presentations - The Deep Blue


I feel caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as I sit to write this review.

You see, I've just finished eating brunch on my patio swing while watching a playful wind blast overcast grey into white puffs. I enjoyed the rasp of artificial grass against the soles of my bare feet as I listened to seagulls shriek and crows caw.

The peacefulness is hFreddy drinking with his friend, Jackie, as Freddy vents about his personal lifeypnotic. I could sit there all day.

I tell myself that I'll return there after I write this review, after I prep my Grade 10 English tutoring session, after I go through the checklists of ingredients for the online Vegan cooking class I've signed up for on Saturday.

I'll step back onto that soft carpet of green, pull a folding chair up to my splintering and paint-splotched craft table and attempt, yet again, to recreate with acrylic paints on rock the seascape I photographed in 2016.

Anyway, to the review.

I must comment on the quality of the productions at London's National Theatre. The performances are described by VocalEye's British colleagues and streamed to VocalEye patrons with the theatre's permission.

Many a time, my brain is tricked into thinking I am watching a movie. Then I hear the applause of a live audience or see the curtain drop at intermission and remember that I am, indeed, experiencing a live theatre performance. Such is the high caliber of the acting, the costumes, the set design.

On July 15, we were treated to a screening of Deep Blue Sea, a love-triangle saga set in 1952.

"There's a continuity flaw," my boyfriend, Shawn, claims. "That song in the background is from 1959."

He would notice a detail like that.

I am impressed by the skill of the set designers who have used shadows and suggestion to spice up this one-room drama.

According to our live describer, Eileen, who attends these virtual VocalEye theatre gatherings to enhance the recorded descriptions with vivid insights on architecture and attire, gauze curtains are used to show the comings and goings of other tenants in the lodging house. The incessant movement of indistinct forms conveys the lack of privacy in such cramped living quarters.

Ironically, the emotional isolation and torment of the play's leading lady, Hester, appears blatant to the audience alone. The fact that her neighbours are more consumed by the shame and social implications of Hester's attempted suicide is tragic and heartbreaking to me.

Imagine a world where smoking indoors was accepted but where suicide and homosexuality were illegal.

I feel for Hester as she is torn between following the straight and narrow path and following her heart. Whether she chooses Bill or Freddy, a part of herself will be lost. Is any man worth that? And when the choice is taken away from her, she is advised to pick herself up and move forward. As if it's that easy.

Sometimes, you just want to sit on a patio swing with the wind and clouds playing tag above you and the birds calling to one another. You want to soak up the peace and just feel time tick by. Sometimes, you just want to enjoy the fire and flash of lust without wondering what will come of it.

But society won't just let you be.

And, so, you're forever caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

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