Review of 'Nice Fish'

nice_fish.jpg http://www.nicefishtheplay.co.uk/

The reviews have been amazing for Nice Fish and I have been keen to see it for some time now so when last minutes tickets came available I jumped at the chance.

The play consists of two friends, Erik and Ron, ice fishing on a lake in northern America simply talking about life. They are joined on occasion by others such as the local DNR (Department of Natural Resources) official checking to make sure they have fishing licences then an unusual young woman, Flo, who has a sauna in an ice shake a short distance away. Their day on the ice ends with them eating dinner in a shack. Er, that is about it…

The set is amazing - A slab of white ice suspended slightly above the floor of the stage but slightly jutting out into the auditorium. Before the show begins you can see a tiny figure (no more than 10 inches tall) seated near the back of the stage fishing. It gets up looks around and moves so naturally it is amazing. There are other puppets used in the show to tremendous effect, aiding in the illusion of the large space and isolation on the frozen lake (the tiny toy train that makes several appearances at the back of the stage going by is a nice touch too) - They are very real looking and life-like indeed. The amazingly effective and well-executed frequent scene changes consist of the lights in the theatre going completely out then a few short seconds later they are turned on again to see that magically the scene has completely changed. Indeed, the stage crew here earn their money and even make a brief appearance as the “fifth wall” is broken towards the end of the play.

The cast here are critical to the play which is all for the better having Mark Rylance (also the author) as Ron and Jim Lichtscheidl as Erik. Ron is the most amusing of the two as he begins the play drunk and gets drunker yet more existential as time moves on. Erik is the straight-man just trying to do some serious fishing while Ron's antics distract him from this simple pleasure (the scene with the mechanical toy signing fish is very funny indeed). As the play goes on the laughs come a bit less as some of the topics hit home and there is a general feeling of melancholy.

I don't think there is any real meaning here but it certainly is a lot of fun capped off by wonderful staging and performances by the cast.

Rating:

Review Date: 2016-11-25



Harold Pinter Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Piccadilly Circus TUBE Leicester Square

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 871 7622

URL: http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/harold-pinter-theatre/

Formerly the “Royal Comedy Theatre”, the Harold Pinter Theatre is located just to the south-east of Piccadilly Circus off of Haymarket. The foyer is small and crowded and the theatre is looking a bit tatty but it is still has a bit of the old charm. There is a side entrance for circle and balcony ticket holders.