I splashed through the puddles and rain to arrive at HMT to meet-up with my parents and auntie to watch the Show, The Silver Darlings . First I had to skin myself of my waterproofs, an action the fishermen of the north sea no doubt do daily. The Silver Darlings is a novel written by Neil Gunn based on the backdrop of the Highland Clearances, formation of the herring industry in the north of Scotland and central to this performance a story of love.
Heartache starts as our companion as the uncomfortably harsh tone pregnant lass's love leaves for the sea. A son is soon born and it was real clever the fast forwarding in time as a baby became a jacket adorned by young loon, Fin. We were then reminded of the harsh and strict rule the Kirk exercised over communities in those times. But optimism and enthusiasm was in the air for the enterprising as silver herring prices boomed, more boats took to the seas. Plenty of water around, including from a leak in the theatre roof. A real life prop and this was complemented by the digital background scenery, that worked real well for me.
The sea continued to provide danger for those in boats and worry for those onshore but worse was ahead, the Plague . Lives were lost. Journeys into the unknown taken to find medicines, new languages to be learnt and with nothing, food and directions appeared from the kindness of strangers. Disease passed, time passed, the seas remained dangerous. Not just from the forces of nature but of those of man, the exciseman's (taxman) soldiers of the sea that took life enforcing the 'law'. Time was passing and the patience of a 'all comes to he of waits' love of a skippers moment arrives. Marriage and new life is born again, and boats are again set sail for the sea. The cast skillfully narrated the story, often playing a couple of parts. It all worked a treat and while it was a tough story, it was an excellent performance to watch. Well done to them all.