SEA SICK. A solitary woman stands within a chalk drawn circle on a sparsely set stage. The stage contains a chalkboard, chalk, a shell and a table. On the table sits a glass of water and a jug containing clear liquid, piquing the audience’s curiosity as to their purpose. The performer begins her one woman, non-fiction play by introducing herself through personal anecdotes, sharing snippets of her early family life and career, which led her to travel the world researching for her novel.
Quietly, but firmly she states the following words:
‘The ocean has become warm, breathless and sour.’
These words resound around Bay 20, the Carriageworks, at the 2018 Sydney Festival.
The performer is Alanna Mitchell, the respected Canadian science journalist and author of the international best-seller, SEA-SICK: The Global Ocean in Crisis, which won her the Grantham Prize in 2010 for excellence in environmental journalism.
Using the chalkboard (and practical demonstrations), Ms Mitchell presents her findings on the increasing acidity in the world’s ocean since the 268 years of the Industrial Revolution. She tackles the often controversial and combative subject of climate change and the health of our oceans being ‘locked into step’ with climate change. By extensive research and scientific data Ms Mitchell illustrates the effect of human activity on the land environment and in particular, the global ocean.
‘If all life on land were to vanish tomorrow, creatures in the ocean would flourish. But if the opposite happened and the ocean’s life perished, then the creatures on land would die too. Life, if it went on, would have to start over.’
For a thought provoking and informative evening SEA SICK is a must-see performance.