Sea Sick

Sea Sick by Alana Mitchell – CanadaHub at Summerhall, Edinburgh

Alana Mitchell is at pains to point out she is not a performer. She has been driven to stand in front of audience by the urgency of a message she believes is more important than anything. She has uncovered stunning evidence that carbon in the atmosphere is acidifying the world’s oceans, a process that could lead to the extinction of all life on earth. She tells, in an engaging lecture, the story of how she, as a journalist, came to be investigating this little known, devastating climate change phenomenon.

Mitchell’s message is deeply alarming although she does believe we have the means to save the oceans, if not necessarily the political will. It seems harsh to quibble from a theatrical point of view with such a heartfelt and important undertaking. However, questions are left hanging, in particular about why she has chosen to take her message on stage. Not exactly a mass medium, it seems that other communication options would make more sense for a self-declared non-performer. Actually, Mitchell does a fine job which makes her protestations seem a litle disingenuous, but it is hard not to wish her very well indeed with the task she has taken on herself.

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