Trestle Theatre Company, Passionfish

Review in Issue 8-4 | Winter 1996

This witty and beautifully observed piece opened with a shoal of fish swimming through the slatted backdrop of the stage. Expert use was made of other items of furniture and props, and the brilliantly designed elastic backdrop seemed to engulf performers, sucking them into another time. Passionfish moved fluidly through time and place to explore the life experiences of generations of a family in two hours. The masks were a delight – simultaneously humorous and tragic. Here they also used two unmasked actors who were utterly upstaged by the masked ones. The weakness of the text spoken by the actors seemed only to underline the power of expression in the mask. The entire company performed with great energy and skill. The collage effect of the scenes was at first confusing and it was much more enjoyable to give up trying to decipher a linear narrative and simply watch aimlessly! Simon Grover gave a mesmerising performance as a love sick nerd who has a ghastly fishing accident. His progress through life was both tortuously funny and pathetically familiar. Throughout the show, the mother baked a loaf of bread while the performance shuttled backwards and forwards across time. This was a nice touch but when the resultant loaf was broken over the dead body of Mr Mayfly and divided between the family, I wondered if they had pushed the metaphor a little too far. Thankfully, the closing image was the return of that beautiful shoal of fish.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 1996

This article in the magazine

TT 8-4
Issue 8-4
p. 22