Nice Fish description
The New York première scored high with critics and audiences alike, in no small part thanks to the talented director Claire van Kampen, along with wonderful performances by brilliantly gifted actors. These days Mark Rylance is more or less a cultural deity, and the play has already gathered an excellent reputation as something that effortlessly casts a bewitching theatrical spell.
The famously hard to please New York Times gave it a rave review. Time Out New York called it a “whimsical, ultimately resonant portrait of lost souls waiting to hook or be hooked.” The Hollywood Reported said the play was a “great catch”. And the Huffington Post says it's “not just a showcase for the poetry of Jenkins; it's a genuine work of theatre.”
What's the plot? Welcome to winter, where on a frozen Minnesota lake the ice is beginning to break, creaking and groaning alarmingly. The fishing season is almost over but two men are still out there on the thinning ice, angling for answers to the meaning of life.
One of the men is our very own Tony and Academy Award-winner Mark Rylance, this time in funny mode and the co-writer of the play. It's his first experience as a playwright and by all accounts he's done a splendid job of it. Such talent! His partner in crime is the beloved US poet Louis Jenkins, and together they've created a play with the same wonderfully wry humour and surreal qualities as Jenkins' brilliant prose.
The Minnesota Monthly called an original play “inexplicable and utterly beautiful”, and this fresh production arrived at St. Ann’s theatre directly from Cambridge A.R.T.
Ron, played by Mark Rylance, is new to the angling game. An innocent optimist, he enjoys the frigid temperatures. Erik, played by Jim Lichtscheidl, is an experienced fisherman and altogether a more sombre character, a real worrier who fully expects life to be full of disappointment. Together they're hilarious company, even when their fishing trip gets interrupted by a pain in the ass official from the Department of Natural Resources, then again by a spear fisherman and his fey granddaughter.
Jenkins' prose poetry runs through the play like a jewelled thread, something Mark Rylance genuinely loves. Now and again he spouts Jenkins' work instead of making acceptance speeches for awards. His affection shines through, and the play is set to be a huge threatreland hit in early 2017 when it comes to London.
Nice Fish tickets – Eccentric, charming and very funny
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Mark Rylance, Jim Lichtscheidl
Playing at Harold Pinter Theatre
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