Fringe World Perth 2016

Fish in the Sea, Fringe World Perth 2016

0 Comments 31 January 2016


Bastard Theatre Company

January 31 2016

Review by Jessica Clausen

Briefly put, Fish in the Sea is a fantastic show.

Written by and starring Daniel Buckle out of Perth’s own Bastard Theatre Company, with co-writer in Nick Pages-Oliver and composer Joe Powell behind the tunes, Fish in the Sea is a musical comedy about love, relationships and finding yourself.

The drama beings with Humphry – a hopeless character still moping about an old flame, who is forced to get out and live life again when his roommate threatens to kick him out.

In doing so he meets vibrant and lively hotdog seller Susanna, who has a peculiar surname and – to Humphry’s dismay – a boyfriend. The two develop a relationship, with Humphry convinced he’s found love again and Susanna’s relationship failures having left her sceptical.

As with a few Fringe venues, Hokkien House is surprisingly small, with only a few rows of chairs for audiences and the stage consisting of a tiny elevated area with a simple backdrop and just one prop. Two guitarists  play on stage right. When entering a theatre with such a minimal setting, your only hope is that the act itself will have to steal the show.

Happily, it did.

The three actors burst out of the wings, singing and skipping energetically, immediately breaking any awkwardness or tension in the room. They had no qualms with breaking the fourth wall either – remarking on latecomers and scene changes, and even going so far as to directly address audience members. While this can risk being a little jarring, rather than isolate audiences, the involvement and relaxed attitude kept the performance light-hearted, making a perfect complement to the outlandish humour.

Although all three actors were wholeheartedly impressive, it was the performance of Nick Pages-Oliver that left the audience laughing the most. Playing various supporting characters such as Susannah’s boyfriend, Humphry’s best friend, Ella and the ‘Spirit of Reggae’, Nick bounced through characters easily without once slipping up. The Lego block blonde wig for Ella was a personal favourite.

Among the farce, eccentricity, catchy songs, and a zeal impossible to fake, Fish in the Sea still gave insight into the trials and tribulations of relationships. It was refreshing to find a story that didn’t rely solely on the ‘boy meets girl’ romantic comedy, but that still concluded in the happy-go-lucky mood typical to this genre.

If you’re looking for a high-energy musical that will make you laugh, cringe and reminisce over the past lovers, Fish in the Sea is the way to go. The Bastard Theatre Company know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it well.

Fish in the Sea ran until January 30 at the Noodle Palace.

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