Lucy Carless, best known as teenager Mattie in both series of Channel 4’s critically acclaimed drama series Humans, makes her theatre debut starring in Tallulah Brown‘s new play SEA FRET, which runs at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre from 28 March to 22 April 2017, with a press night on 30 March.
“Loving where you live with every bone in your body has got to count for something.”
Sea Fret: n. a wet mist or haze coming inland from the sea. Rising sea levels are threatening the ground beneath her house but Ruby (Carless) is wildly distracted. She wants one final blow out before her best mate Lucy leaves for Uni. With the local community in favour of letting nature take its course, Ruby must choose: follow Lucy inland or stay and help her father hold back the tide.
SEA FRET is a paean to playwright Tallulah Brown’s native Suffolk coastline. She said:
“The sea levels are rising – if you live on the front you can see it day to day. Earlier this year just a couple of miles north of where I grew up part of the cliff gave way and a man was killed out walking along the beach. The erosion is happening quicker than decisions are being made in order to combat it. This play is about just that, the bureaucratic muddle, about policy taking too long, while people risk losing their homes. The beach was a big wild garden for all the kids that lived there, we’d get bored and make trouble. We would bolt around on constant adventures; preoccupied with who’d started their period, who was in love, who’d had sex. We grew up underneath those big Suffolk skies with the sea raging on behind us and as adults we all dispersed.”
With support from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation, Brown researched the play by talking with representatives from the Environment Agency, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Suffolk Coast Against Retreat in order to create a portrait of the local conflict over coastal erosion, and what action should be taken – or not – in the face of changing landscapes and damage to land and property.
Lucy Carless is joined in SEA FRET by Georgia Kerr, Philippe Spall and Karen Brooks. The production is directed by Carla Kingham and designed by Ruta Irbite with sound by Daniel Balfour. It’s produced by David Ralf for Loose Tongue.
Tallulah Brown’s first play Phantasmagoria won the Audience Choice award as part of the Manchester-In-Fringe-Theatre Awards and later went to the Edinburgh Fringe where it received 5 star reviews and NSDF, Methuen Drama and the Sunday Times shortlisted the play for a transfer to London. Tallulah was part of the Soho Theatre Young Writer’s Company for two years where she wrote There’s a Monster in the Lake that toured with Spoken Mirror Theatre Company. Then in 2014 she was selected for Channel 4’s 2014 Screenwriting Scheme where she developed a comedy drama called Motherlode which was subsequently optioned by Tiger Aspect. In 2016 Vaults Festival commissioned her to write a play about female bullfighter Conchita Cintron, After the Heat we Battle for the Heart. She is currently working on various different TV projects.
Carla Kingham is currently directing the world stage premier of a triptych of plays by B.S. Johnson at the Finborough. She is associate on James Grieves’ new production of Les Misérables at the Wermland Opera House, Sweden, and for comedy group The Sleeping Trees. She assisted Peter DuBois on Sex with Strangers at the Hampstead Theatre. Productions include After the Heat We Battle for the Heart (VAULT Festival), Lotty’s War (National Tour – associate), Bi (Rich Mix Cultural Foundation), Tracey (White Bear Theatre) and No Border (Theatre503 and Oxford Playhouse) which was later commissioned for development by Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.
David Ralf is an Associate Producer of The Hope Theatre (Her Aching Heart, Steel Magnolias, Sea Life) and Mingled Yarn (The Wild Party, The Window/Blank Pages). His company Loose Tongue’s first production was Hotel Europe, a series of audio installations commissioned from five London-based writers with links across Europe, which was created in February 2017, in association with the Old Red Lion Theatre and Green Rooms Hotel. He is a Stage One Producer and a recipient of the 2016 MGCfutures Bursary for the Hotel Europe digital experience.