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A CurtainUp London Review
I am the Wind
In the opening scene Jack Laskey called The Other cradles and carries Tom Brooke called The One. Brooke is naked from the waist up, bare footed and his trousers are soaked. He is pale and thin; he looks anxious with his hollowed out face and surprisingly short but thick eyebrows conveying being startled. Laskey staggers a little as the weight of the other man challenges him but has a determination, a positive desire to help. The first few minutes have a stillness of isolation and despair but with Laskey battling to hold and comfort Brooke's character, against the elements.
When the conversation starts The One is full of contradictions but overall he conveys pain and despair. The words are beautiful in Simon Stephens' translation but I am the Wind is not a life affirming piece but a questioning one. It has some of the feel of Waiting For Godot, the purposelessness, the not knowing why we're here or who these players are, but there isn't the comedy to relieve the tension.
There are few clues. Are they friends? Relatives? Lovers? Or even two sides of the same personality? It seems that The One is an experienced sailor and The Other is not. They go out to sea and moor near a cove and The Other struggles to reach the shore to tie up the boat encouraged and instructed by The One. The One is in search of silence and a cure for the heaviness he feels to be replaced by the lightness of being on the water, "I like being light, rocking gently in the heavy boat. It's good.".
Laskey's character The Other drives the play with his questioning of The One. Both actors give very fine performances and the direction is superb. For those who like their theatre introspective and questioning the meaning of existence, I am the Wind is a must see but maybe not for those already feeling suicidal.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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