By Niki Northcott, Fourth Year Spanish and Italian
The Loco Klub was the perfect performance space for Salmon, Eve and Sea Productions’ unsettling exploration of isolation, grief and hedonism.
The Loco Klub is immediately isolating - a Bristolian re-creation of the segregated Scottish island setting of Salmon. The tall stone arches tower over the tiny audience space, dropping us into Angus’ (Josh Going) world as he deals with the death of his dog and closest companion, Dain. We sit in our coats, absorbed by the cold and damp which adds a subtle sensory dimension to our 60-minute step into Angus’ shoes.
Writers and directors Constance McCaig and Eva Lily’s cleverly crafted script maximises the effects of the split-staging; we observe Angus in his littered bedroom stage right as he communicates down the stairs with his parents, friend, or ex-girlfriend stage left. They seamlessly finish each other’s sentences, perfectly pacing the performance and causing a corollary crescendo of intensity to mirror Angus’ grief.
As his deteriorating mental health takes centre stage, we begin to see the world through Angus’ eyes. The supporting actors’ embodiment of animals ensure this is achieved excellently. When Eden Hastings depicts Angus’ ex-girlfriend, she gazes at him like a seductive snake does their prey. When Ben Spring becomes the police officer investigating Dain’s death, he grunts at Angus’ feet like a pig hunting for truffles, and when together they transform into his parents, they don kaleidoscope glasses and buzz like the frustrating flies he can never catch.
We start merely as silent observers, yet this surrealism transports us as we empathise with Angus in a strikingly personal fashion.
“Here for a good time, not a long time”: a phrase we are all too familiar with as students in 2020. However, in a society which assimilates drug use to normality, and perhaps even to expectation, Salmon shines light onto the dangers of the hedonist façade. The concluding revelation provides the audience with a saddening twist that highlights the crushing dangers of isolation and drug use, a message that's made all the more poignant in the dark and deserted nightclub décor.
Featured Image: Eve and Sea Productions
Have you seen a show at The Loco Klub?