It's difficult to measure how much work goes into Letty Butler and Lucy Pearman's partnership. Certainly, the script and production values found here suggest an almost insulting lack of effort has been made to follow up last year's acclaimed debut, Show Pony. A narrative show, it's largely devoid of plot and bursting with underwritten non sequiturs. There's no depth to its main characters beyond their names, Captain and Fish respectively, nor are their actions ever threatened or compromised. It's tempting to suggest that Butler and Pearman triumph by virtue of inherent comic ability, but what Sea Men presents us with is far more sophisticated than may first be apparent.
No matter how offbeat or sloppy their performance, everything the women do is governed by a robust internal logic. They've very carefully mapped out their own world and can comfortably experiment without compromising its parameters of possibility. This is not a sketch show, but their fluid take on reality means they present us with unrelated comic vignettes whenever best serves the piece's overall rhythm.
A conventional double act can be glimpsed in Captain's grimacing, deadpan interactions with the airheaded Fish, but the real joy of this deeply idiosyncratic offering is that it gets a room full of people laughing, many of whom would be hard pressed to explain why.