Review: Sea Sick – Amy King

Show: Sea Sick
Venue: Canada Hub @ King’s Hall
Stars: *****
Reviewer: Amy King

Climate change is the latest hot topic on everyone’s lips. Whether you agree with Extinction Rebellion’s calamitous predictions or not, the subject is inescapable in the media. It’s no surprise, then, that its reach has extended to the Fringe this year, too. Among those shows exploring the issue is Alanna Mitchell’s Sea Sick, which has brought to life her best-selling novel Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis at Canada Hub @ King’s Hall.

Weaving a narrative of personal experience, journalistic endeavour and cold, hard facts, Mitchell is quick to embed us in her storytelling. The influence of science from her father and art from her mother are clear in equal measure – she paints her history with precision and keen analysis. Her lifelong fascination with Darwin’s pioneering work echoes her own transformation from detached news reporting to personal journalism. She entrenches herself within the research, offering her incredible experiences learning from experts in marine biology, taking the plunge with deep sea diving and snorkelling among horny coral.

Mitchell is endlessly enjoyable to listen to. She is a truly gifted storyteller and her passion for the planet and its uncertain future is clear as day. She manages to make the science accessible without it feeling like you’re back in your high school chemistry lab. This show is designed to hit you hard with the facts and agitate your wounds with the artistry. It compels you to think, to act, and ultimately to heal.

From the music choices to the lighting, every element of this show has been meticulously thought through – which is nothing less than what we might expect from such a tenacious journalist who cannot help but question the whys and hows and the what nows.

This is a show for anyone moved to tears by climate change and those who staunchly reject its reported effects. We can all learn something from Mitchell’s live self-dissection on stage. She’s vulnerable and impossibly strong in sharing her fears.

Sea Sick: tickets available here
Canada Hub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall
1 – 25 August (not 5, 12, 19)
12:30PM (70 minutes)

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