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The Light House | Park Theatre (Park 90)

The Light House, directed by Andrea Heaton and written and performed by Alys Williams, is a stunningly beautiful and moving piece of theatre. Using a prolonged metaphor of drowning, shipwrecks and lighthouses, Williams creates a thoughtful play that tackles mental health issues and suicide.

The audience are drawn into Williams’ world, quite literally at times. Eager audience members are involved in creating sound effects (shouting and whistling), becoming characters to engage with, singing and even dancing, and the sense of community and togetherness really warms the room with a kind spirit. The writing is carefully paced, and everything feels perfectly placed. The rawness in the writing, and the few additional and seemingly random incidents, come together to create a truly jubilant celebration of the how the human connection will survive.

Williams is a truly remarkable performer, effortlessly and gracefully navigating quite dark waters with ease. With a clear and inviting delivery, Williams instantly wins the crowd over. The show begins and keeps returning to the standard protocol of helping someone who has

gone overboard, and this slowly melts into her life. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There are moments of genius in how Williams has presented the hard truths with a gentle touch, that leaves the audience with stars in their eyes, tears on their cheeks, smiles on their faces and a lump in their throat.

The set (Emma Williams) is comprised of wooden crates stacked upon each other, with a ladder propped against them, creating the essence of a ship. Adorning these are lanterns hung about and a metal lamp. The set is a fixed entity and is striking as a ship, yet easily is transformed into a café, or even home with the help of lighting and a welcome mat. The lighting design (Matthew Carnazza) helps transform the stage into a semi-immersive experience. With a cool blue rippled lighting for the storm, warm pink for happier flashbacks, and a rigid silver for certain harrowing moments, the lighting helps tell the story. Sound design (Ed Heaton) pairs well, with the realistic sounds of a storm, which helps induce the panic in the room. Countering this are the smaller moments of gentle music in the background, and the choice of songs for important memories, that create subtle yet significant moments.

The Light House is a play that will leave you feeling lighter and more hopeful for the future. Williams writing encourages audiences to embrace and engage with one’s flaws, to listen, love and live with one another, and to keep finding the light. The Light House is a beautifully moving play and is a must-watch, which is currently playing at the Park Theatre until the 13th of April. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Ant Robling


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