Ok, so I know that Sea Lavender is a plant and it grows by the beach. It produces lavender like flowers. So when I was invited to a play called ‘Sea Lavender‘ tonight at Derry’s Playhouse, I was unsure what to expect.

What I found was an amazing actor in Stephen Hagan. Originally from Co. Antrim and better known for his role as the scheming Ryan Hathaway in the BBC hit series The Cut, he portrayed the roles of Arthur Cobham, a Yorkshire cobbler and later Harry Thompson, the embittered aristocrat, the cobbler’s rival in love, to an outstanding degree.

Set during the Siege of Derry in 1869 the story captures the consequences of obsessive love swept up in the tide of history and comes vividly alive on the stage. The play is written by local writer and director Andy Hinds.

We listen to the monologue of the cobble awaiting execution in the first part, and then witness his love rival Harry, with Arthur’s son, in the second half, and their tragic consequences. The Siege is ever present in the background but the sustaining power of love is at the forefront throughout. A genuinely lyrical production ensues from the beginning.

Hagan captures his audience from start to finish.

The Sunday Independent sums it up perfectly: ‘exquisitely sensitive, a torrent of beautifully imagined writing.’