Puffin Island @ Greenside, Nicolson Square

A true life story that has important things to say, but this production lacks the punch to put its messages across

Review by Clare Sinclair | 15 Aug 2018
  • Puffin Island

The #MeToo movement has – rightly so – been everywhere in the media over the last year, with women opening up all over the globe about the sexual abuse and assaults they’ve been subject to over the years. So it’s unsurprising that this movement has made its way strongly into the theatre circuit, with a multitude of shows highlighting it. 

In Puffin Island, Cara is a student from America who is travelling Europe over the summer when she meets Paul. The two immediately hit it off through their shared love of acting and embark on a whirlwind yet short-lived romance before Cara carries on her journey. However, they’re brought back together after she is devastated by a sexual assault in a country unfamiliar to her. 

This true story undoubtedly has a strong and important message to tell. People across the world need to hear they’re not alone when something as devastating as this happens, which is the aim of this piece from Across the Pond Productions. As the story unfolds we see flashing images of recent news articles where a litany of offenders are let off with their misdemeanours, the victims cast aside as a ‘blip’ or having asked for it somehow.

This is the strongest element of the show but unfortunately the rest of the performance feels clipped and uncomfortable. Short scenes – meant to keep the action moving along – just feel too brief and feature unnatural dialogue. And although this is a true story, the chemistry between Paul and Cara fails to translate once on stage. Puffin Island has a strong, worthy message but needs more development to deliver it with the punch needed. 

Puffin Island, Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Fern Studio), 6 - 18 Aug, 15:05, £12.00 (£3.00 - £5.00)

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