nice fish


You mustn’t read me if you’re looking for a balanced, informed review of a play I’ve seen.  Before you read any review, you should know the bias of the reviewer. Has she had a spat with her husband? Has he had a good dinner? Is he tired? Is she worried about her medical check-up tomorrow? Whatever.  And yes, you want to be assured that they know (and love?) theatre and that they know what they’re writing about. 

Okay. I often don’t know what I’m writing about, that’s why I attended this particular play.  I do love theatre. I bring to any play the love-struck enthusiasm of a total fan.  I also bring the desire and the hunger for learning of a wannabe playwright, plus a little of the knowledge and the nit-picking attention to detail of an academic. Knowing all that, do you still want to read my so-called “review”?

It’s short, anyway. 

And so is Nice Fish, a comedy by multi-awarded British actor Sir Mark Rylance and American poet Louis Jenkins, directed by Rylance’s wife, Claire van Kampen.  It’s about ice fishing, sort of.  In prose poetry reminiscent of Garrison Keillor and with a tone similar to that of the Prairie Home Companion (to which Jenkins is a frequent contributor),  the actors have fun fishing and catch a nice fish, as they draw conclusions simplistic or profound, depending on your mind-set.  It’s fun and often surprisingly touching.

I’m one of those fans who would happily listen to Mark Rylance recite the phone book or his laundry list so you won’t find me complaining.  You see?  You shouldn’t pay any attention to me as a reviewer.