Gills Around the Green (tour – Ipswich)
Gills Around the Green has a serious ecological message wrapped in the distinctly fishy goings-on. The script is by Julian Harries, who has a thoroughly enjoyable time camping it up as various dotty professors, sea-world rulers – I particularly liked his fin-like fingers as Kwyta – and a cow. The original score is by Pat Whymark.
And what’s the story? you may well ask. There’s travelling fish-oils supplement salesman Vernon (Nicholas Agnew) who gets trapped in a snowstorm with a rather stroppy upper-class girl appropriately enough called Tory (Holly Ashton). They find themselves in a very strange couple of places some far-off time in the future both aided and hindered by Rose van Hoff and Kai Simmons. Not to mention Mrs Giblets, the canine glove puppet familiar from previous shows.
The auditorium of the Sir John Mills Theatre is reconfigured for this production, which leaves perilously little room for the numerous bits of set (the designer is Mila Sanders), not to mention the quick changes demanded of the actors. Take it all in the spirit it is offered, and it’s great fun. This sort of show is never going to be slick. But it does need some of its rough edges to be eroded. By the North Sea, naturally.