4/5 Stars

★★★★ Stories from the Sea

Anna Hadley reviews Eric’s Tales of the Sea – A Submariner’s Yarn

What does one need to tick off their 2018 Edinburgh Fringe? An hour of story-telling & comedy from an ex-Submariner? Yes.

Eric, adorned in a sensible fisherman’s jumper, takes us through his life and adventures living on a nuclear submarine. This is in some parts educational, but most importantly, it is a sweet and life-affirming show about friendship (and sharks).

Indeed, Eric provides us with rare insight. Sometimes, from the cushy position in our Edinburgh Fringe bubble, we can forget that there are lives outside of the liberal-arts. Although Eric is prohibited from telling us logistical information about life aboard a nuclear submarine (classified information if you’re in the UK Navy) we get as close as we can get. For example, a balanced meal in a submarine is a baked potato and a mars bar; rare but enlightening info.

But this show is less about cold hard facts, than it is about tangible, human emotion, which transcends its trident encasing. It is indeed an emotional rollercoaster, which you might expect when life on a nuclear submarine is so entwined with death. The show reaches its zenith when Eric talks about friendship upon board, and some of the audience members are left crying.

I also want to highlight that this is a seemingly unusual show for the Fringe. Many of the audience were actually ex-servicemen, or still engaged in the armed forces, which again, seemed surprising for our liberal bubble. I also want to commend whoever decided to place Eric’s show in Edinburgh’s venue The Caves. It was exactly how I imagined being inside a nuclear submarine (for better or for worse).

If you want to see something out of the ordinary at the Fringe, I would really recommend this show. Ultimately, Eric’s stories are better above land.

Categories: 4/5 Stars, review

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