Keepers (3 stars)


Lighthousekeeping meets the Odd Couple

Two lighthouse keepers (Fionn Gill and Martin Bonger) keep their vigil over some obscure crag of coast in 1801, with a sense of incrementally increasing tension. Tom and Thomas are very different people, the younger something of a daydreamer who spends his days communing with birds, some stuffed, some alive, and pining for his mum while his more experienced colleague insists on the need for rigid discipline and devotion to duty. A storm arrives, bringing tragedy.

This piece by the Plasticine Men is admirable for its structural sleight of hand midway through, where it moves from affable physical comedy along the lines of a kind of pre-Victorian Odd Couple, on to tragedy by way of psychological horror. It’s a difficult trick to pull off, but the alterations of tone are cleverly managed. Accompanied by sweetly ambient live music, the performers display an array of mime skills with a minimum of props that are bound to impress. That said, while there’s a nice conversation about social expectation and personal desire under the text, there isn’t quite the profundity here that the piece’s central metaphor seems to promise.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 4pm, £10–£11 (£8.50–£9.50).


  • 3 stars

Two-hundred years ago, far off the Welsh coast, one man faced an ordeal so diabolical that it would go down in maritime legend, changing the way lighthouses were run forever. Using original live music and little more than a ladder and a trapdoor, The Plasticine Men conjure up the confines of the infamous Smalls Lighthouse…

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