Venue: The Studio, Holden Street Theatres, Holden Street, Hindmarsh
Season: 3pm 19, 20, 26, 27 Feb, 8pm 19-27 Feb, 1-3, 6-13 March, 3pm 5 March, 6pm 4, 5 March, 11am 6 March, 2:30pm 12, 13 March 2011
Tickets: adult $25/conc $20/Fringe Benefits $20
Bookings: FringeTix 1300 FRINGE (374 643) all Venue*Tix outlets or http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au
This is a stunning piece from these six young actors. A fishing vessel, The Violet, returns to port at Brixham with its cargo of fish and, while the master is off delivering the catch to The Company a man arrives from The Agency, expecting to sail with them. The crew try to explain to him that they have just returned and will be taking leave. He shows his papers insisting the he is supposed to be sailing that day.
When the master returns he announces that the company for which they work has gone bankrupt and that he has sold their catch for the best price that he could get, well below their expectations. He eventually convinces them to sail again immediately, taking the Polish newcomer with them.
The crew of six reluctantly set sail but the worsening weather is not their only problem. They have their own, personal problems, their relationships become increasingly strained, their difficulties in their private lives are revealed and there is no real chance of escape within the confines of the trawler.
With a few chairs, a table, a swinging lamp and sets of oilskins they brilliantly create the trawler, above and below decks, aided by some good work on stage lights. Six magnificent characterisations are what makes this piece work, with a terrific script underpinning it. As the crew of six, Kirk, Thomas Bennett, John, James Crocker, Alan, James Jaggs, Graham, Joe Darke, Rhys, Dan Smith, Woods, Jesse Briton the individual characterisations combine with very tight ensemble work.
Not only that, they are also great singers, exhibited in the fine harmonies in the snatches of sea shanties used to divide the scenes.
Testosterone levels run high, conflicts deepen and alliances are made and broken until the final scenes as they face a gale force 11 storm when they go to the rescue of the men of another, rival trawler. This is edge of the seat performance.
This is an exceptional piece of theatre that has got to be on your Fringe list this year.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.