Mermaids have captured the imaginations of many for centuries, half human, half sea creature, the mythical creation continues to be surrounded by intrigue. Cornish folktale, Mermaid of Zennor taps into this mysticism. A tale recorded by folklorist William Bottrell, the tale speaks of an enchanting woman who would every so often attend the local church service. After falling in love with a village local named Mathey Trewella, the two are never to be seen again, the general concencus being that they have both disappeared at sea and the woman in actual fact turning out to be a mermaid…

Drenched

Produced by Third Man Theatre, the company present Drenched, a take on the famous Mermaid of Zennor tale. The intimate Bunker 2 space makes for a perfect setting for the archaic tale; the dark, cavernous setting evocative of 19th century England – a world powered by stories told and conversations had. Performed by Dan Frost, Drenched guides us through the eyes of Mathey Trewella, a man who ultimately falls in love with a mermaid. Illuminated by the minimal use of candle light, the tale benefits from beautiful shadows cast upstage and minimal lighting cast on Frost’s face – this, alongside the show’s atmospheric soundscape give the show an added dream-like aura.

Frost is a natural on stage; part storyteller, part conversationalist, he puts the audience at ease. Although we’re there to take in the enchanting tale, Frost doesn’t at all take himself seriously, which is refreshing to witness as storytelling often has the tendency to focus more on the seriousness of a tale rather than pick up on the lighter moments. Frost is wary of this and very quickly lifts the mood if ever he feels it’s getting far too serious. We’re ultimately there to listen to the tale, however it’s clear Frost loves what he’s doing as he often breaks from it, at one point informing us that he’s auditioned for a part in the popular TV programme Poldark set in Cornwall. For those in the industry, it’s common knowledge that these types of roles are incredibly competitive to attain; the industry is competitive, so often times creating your own work is crucial to thriving. This is Edinburgh down to a tee… performers creating passion projects in the hopes of showing works to supportive audiences. There’s scope to explore this tale even more so, the balance between the storyteller and the story at hand an element that has the makings of a fun retelling of the tale.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Drenched is currently showing until Sunday 26th August 2018 at Bunker 2 as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop