Sunshine at Theatre 503
The cultural icons of comedy, Charlie Chaplin or Mr Bean, have defined a space in which silliness, clowning and satire serve as tools for learning through belly-aching laughter. Although a bit quirky and a bit strange in the style of Buster Keaton, Sunshine, a clowning interactive play about the duo Mr Sand and Mr Sea, is superbly funny, and forms a perfect platform in which adults can learn to break barriers of convention and etiquette by laughing alongside their over-excited children.
The two characters use the metaphor of the sand – as gritty – and the sea – as restless – to represent greater political contexts of the sense of having a “My” space, which is overwhelmed by the presence of another whose every action breaks our fixed ideals of pleasure and comfort. Inevitably, the audience learn that only through sharing can this seaside experience be pleasurable for both, albeit conflicting, personalities.
The metaphor corresponds with the fact that Matt Willis, who plays Mr Sand, was among the founding members of the Flying Seagull Project, which is in the process of launching in book and film its most recent adventures in the refugee camps of Lesbos. The project offers a fresh gaze of the people, among whom exist large numbers of children, to acknowledge their existence in laughter and play, rather than being inexhaustibly though helplessly pitied for their suffering through the medium of reporting.
Written and directed by Lee White, who began his career at the age of 18, Sunshine promises a long life in terms of its success at the sold-out venue and in its transferability of the friendship between the comical duo. Executive Producer Dan Ashman and White’s lighting and sound design celebrate a vision of the play that reaches far beyond the walls of the theatre.
Sunshine is at Theatre 503 from 14th until 16th August 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.