Keepers – Pulse Fringe Festival, New Wolsey Studio

Located about 21 miles of St Davids Head in West Wales is The Smalls Lighthouse. This remote outpost was to cause a change in policy that impacted all lighthouses until the recent remote operation made lighthouse keepers redundant. After events here, lighthouses would now require at least three staff.

The reason for this rule change is the background to Keepers, a new play by The Plasticine Men. We meet the two keepers of The Smalls lighthouse Thomas Howell and Thomas Griffith. Day in, day out the two Toms keep the light burning, the lighthouse maintained and battle to stave off the boredom of this isolated life. When Griffiths dies in an accident the other Tom lashes the corpse to the railing and is slowly driven mad by the spirit of his colleague.

Thankfully there is plenty of humor in this piece to balance the grisly aspects of the tale and Martin Bonger and Fionn Gill ensure they wring every ounce of comic potential out of the situation. From mime through to physical theatre the two keepers are brought to vivid life. Although technically a two man show there is a third performer who ensures the show works; onstage performed music and sound effects by Lawrence Williams adds both the comic and emotional backdrop to the action.

Simply staged with just two chairs and a ladder, Keepers shows that you don’t need a huge budget to make effective theatre.

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