Review: Sea Wall, Bush Theatre via t’internet

“I’ve never worn a wetsuit before”

In the midst of all the opinion, and boy was there a lot of it, about Andrew Scott’s performance as Moriarty in the BBC’s Sherlock which has recently had its second series, a fellow (uppity) blogger made me aware of another opportunity to see Scott acting, this time in a filmed version of the play/monologue Sea Wall. This little gem, which is available to either buy or rent from its own little website, originally played at the Bush Theatre and then at the Edinburgh Festival and was written by Simon Stephens especially for Scott.

As others have pointed out, it is difficult to review a monologue effectively without revealing too much and so I will limit what I say here. My recommendation is to give it a whirl regardless of how you feel: if you like Andrew Scott, then you won’t be disappointed, if you think you don’t like him (especially because of Sherlock) then this is guaranteed to change your mind. The set-up is a video diary with Scott often delivering right into the camera, his intense gaze rarely letting go as the story gathers force in reaching its harrowingly dramatic conclusion.

Stephens’ script resounds with the complexity of everyday human existence, allowing Scott to really stretch his acting muscle as Alex and draw us right into his world. Even as unsavoury as it may appear at points, nothing is in here for shock value but rather to show Alex, and by extension all of us, as a flawed person, made up of good parts and bad parts and all too easily damaged. I’m not normally one to be so vague when blogging on here but I do think this is one of those things where you’ll really benefit from going in with as little foreknowledge as possible.

You can download Sea Wall from this site here.

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