There are lots of reasons why a play is a potentially mouth-watering prospect. The writer, director, and cast, and the past work they have all done, are always high on my list. Sea Creatures—set in a cottage by the sea where four women are expecting the arrival of two guests—scores direct hits in all three of those categories. It marks the Hampstead debut of Cordelia Lynn, who found success with Lela & Co and One for Sorrow at the Royal Court and wrote Love and Other Acts of Violence for the Donmar. It’s directed by longtime Royal Court associate and deputy artistic director James Macdonald, who through a long career has always shown a discerning eye for an interesting new play and writer. It’s also got a cracking cast, including Geraldine Alexander, Pearl Chandra, Thusitha Jayasundera, and Tom Mothersdale. Oh, and those two expected guests? It turns out one of them has gone missing.
Meals are prepared, stories are shared and the tide breaks on the shore… When only one of their two guests arrives for the summer, it isn’t quite the reunion they were all hoping for … Sea Creatures is Cordelia Lynn’s first play at Hampstead Theatre. She is an award-winning playwright, librettist and dramaturg. Other work includes Love and Other Acts of Violence (Donmar Warehouse), Three Sisters (Almeida), One for Sorrow and Lela & Co. (Royal Court). James Macdonald was an Associate and Deputy Director at the Royal Court for 14 years, where he directed Cordelia Lynn’s One for Sorrow. His work for Hampstead includes Wild by Mike Bartlett in 2016 and #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei by Howard Brenton in 2013. Sea Creatures was written during a residency at MacDowell in 2018. This production has been kindly supported by Anatol Orient and Andrew Rodger.