Review: Flotsam, Kings Head Theatre, London

Review: Flotsam, Kings Head Theatre, London

Flotsam, a new play by emerging South Wales based playwriter Claire Erasmus, made its premiere at the Kings Head Theatre. London on Saturday September 8, 2018.

An exploration of human mortality examined through the undeniable power of female friendship, the production featured Jennifer Aries of BAFTA award winning Call the Midwife, The Tunnel and Ripper Street and Ciara Pouncett, soon to be seen in High Water.

When an eternal optimist goes for her early morning swim in a quiet seaside town she encounters a messed-up misfit who has stuffed her pockets with rocks.  What develops between them is an unlikely friendship that challenges each of their views of the world and ultimately changes their fate.

The production caught the imagination of those in attendance describing it as “a poignant, poetic, laugh out loud hour of theatre”, “Really gripping stuff and superb performances.” and “…a powerful piece of theatre.”

What follows are mini-reviews of the opening performance of Flotsam with photographs by Stephanie Claire.

“Cracking new writing! Flotsam is a poignant, poetic, laugh out loud hour of theatre from the pen of an excellent female writer. Beautifully performed by Jen Aries as Jo and Ciara Pouncett as Ann, with an exquisite eye for detail from Director Evy Barry “

Emma-Jane Kerr, Actor / Director

  Ciara Pouncett as Ann in Claire Erasmus play,  Flotsam  at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

Ciara Pouncett as Ann in Claire Erasmus play, Flotsam at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

“Absolutely loved this show” Atmospheric right from the start, when we meet the protagonist Jo on the beach at dawn.”

“Really gripping stuff and superb performances from Jen Aries (Jo) and Ciara Pouncett (playing Ann) throughout! You could hear a pin drop as both characters make startling revelations about their past. The piece was so moving and rivalled many of the best BBC dramas.”

Flotsam will touch you and leave you questioning the meaning of mortality. It’s an exciting piece of theatre and deserves a longer run and to be seen widely.” 

Sarah Strong, Actress

  Ciara Pouncett as Ann and Jennifer Aries as Jo in Claire Erasmus play,  Flotsam  at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

Ciara Pouncett as Ann and Jennifer Aries as Jo in Claire Erasmus play, Flotsam at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

“More brilliant writing from Claire Erasmus in Flotsam at The Kings Head Theatre. Thoughtful and touching stuff and you are dead right... Custard creams ARE the best biscuits “

Carrie Hill, Actress

  Jennifer Aries as Jo in Claire Erasmus play,  Flotsam  at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

Jennifer Aries as Jo in Claire Erasmus play, Flotsam at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

Flotsam is a beautifully written, sensitive play about the effects of trauma in two very different women, who meet unexpectedly on a beach one morning. The roles of misfit Jo and eternal optimist Ann are superbly and authentically performed by Jen Aries and Ciara Pouncett.”

“The plot takes you on a journey and draws the audience in to the pasts of these two extraordinary women. Unimaginable accounts of abuse are revealed amid hope, courage and survival. Inspiring stuff. The chemistry between the two central characters is tangible and the setting so intimate that you feel you could be sat on the beach with them bearing witness to this extraordinary encounter. I highly recommend seeing this unforgettable play”.

Sue Barr

  Ciara Pouncett as Ann and Jennifer Aries as Jo in Claire Erasmus play,  Flotsam  at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

Ciara Pouncett as Ann and Jennifer Aries as Jo in Claire Erasmus play, Flotsam at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

 “Flotsam at the Kings Head Theatre is a powerful piece of theatre indeed. I volunteer in a crisis centre and the character Jo really resonated - “I don’t want to die, but how do I make all this stop “Is a thought so often expressed by those in crisis “This play affected me deeply and I felt the need for some quiet reflection afterwards. “

Viv Hemmings

  Ciara Pouncett as Ann in Claire Erasmus play,  Flotsam  at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

Ciara Pouncett as Ann in Claire Erasmus play, Flotsam at The Kings Head Theatre, London Photograph by Stephanie Claire.

“How do you find humour in tragedy and in the blink of an eye turn your emotions upside down? Flotsam, a brilliant piece of theatre does all this and so much more. I left the theatre questioning my relationships, my knowledge of cancer and a person’s feelings of worthlessness. The big questions. things that have touched most of us. The play was skilfully written and superbly performed by Jen Aries and Ciara Pouncett. It allowed the audience space to reflect on what makes life worth living. The text was meaningful and pure. A must see, because even something washed up in the shoreline has a story and this one was told perfectly.”

Neal Elstone, Your Way Events Management.

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