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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Zoo Southside
4-30 August, 15.45

This lovely little show about Brixham and Plymouth fishermen does exactly what it says on the tin: six actors, five chairs, one table and an ocean.

Bear Trap company also avoids the documentary earnestness of this kind of play, imbuing all the stock elements of festering rivalries, lost women and macho bravura with an impassioned, muscular physicality, and with good strong character delineation, too.

The crisis in the trawlermen’s industry colours the action, as do the problems engendered by cheap labour. The story is well worked through, with much rustling of yellow oilskins and singing of stirring shanties, to the climactic storm at sea, when survival and rescue mix in an unresolved, daring finale.

The actors come from the E15 Theatre School, whose work all year has been of a very high standard. Jesse Briton deserves to take a special bow as author, actor and co-director (with Joe Darke). His fellow fishermen are Darke, Tom Bennett, James Crocker, James Jaggs and Dan Smith. Heave-ho, me hearties!


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