dead sea

The Dead Sea

Derby Theatre


This afternoon’s performance was the end of a series of previews prior to a nationwide tour of this one woman show, made in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Writer, producer and performer is Louise White, who describes herself as a theatrician and while its marketing of content is a little ambiguous, its 7+ recommended age positions it as a show suitable for primary school age children.

I took along a seven and five-year-old to see this performance in the studio. It offered a basic single set, backcloth for projected images and a portable porthole, this morphed from ocean, to sea bed to scientific laboratory.

The plot embraces some simple themes. The ecological threat posed by plastic in our seas. Overcoming personal phobias, in this case a marine biologists’ fear of the sea! And the importance of having the courage to follow your dreams.

One person shows are tiring, and demanding, upon the performer. Louise tackled her task with energy, enthusiasm, commitment and a smile.

dead mid

A short presentation at the end from a representative of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust underscored the ecological message, explained the good fortune and serendipity that David Attenborough’s Blue Planet had chosen to feature the problem of plastics in our oceans bringing the issue to a vast audience, and rightly cherished a letter of support from the man himself for this project.

Octonauts is the gold standard for children’s oceanographic scientific adventure and provides a formidable comparison. Wisely, Louise does not try to oversimplify her ecological message and neatly interweaves it with a first- person narrative.

The inflatable orca, and turtle puppet, are welcome component parts of the show, but the opportunity to provide them with a narrative voice was eschewed, a curious choice for a children’s show. Our children said they would have liked more of them both.

At around forty -five minutes playing time, and ten minutes ecological presentation after the play itself, the show did not outstay its welcome. Louise was given warm applause at the end, acknowledging her effort and dedication to the production. For more information on future productions:

Gary Longden


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