Pros: It is a very funny piece delivered in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.
Cons: It only lasted about an hour, could easily have watched more of the same.
Fresh from a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival, the newly formed Red Fox Theatre group aims to create works based on true and forgotten tales. They’ve picked a good one for Catch of the Day, their first production.
In April 1966 a very strange looking fish was caught and landed in Dingle, Eire. With the help of a local amateur marine biologist it was identified as a sturgeon, which was very rare in these waters. As a result of an edict issued in the 1400s it was known as a Royal Fish, and was supposed to be sent to the reigning monarch. This being 1966, that was interpreted as being the Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera.
After a series of mishaps, misunderstandings and misadventures, it was lost, but the story doesn’t end there. A second rare sturgeon was caught in the same area (yes, it was a different one apparently) and this one ended up in Buckingham Palace via Billingsgate. Red Fox Theatre have taken this story and turned it into an hour’s worth of crazy musical enjoyment, managing to get a bit of a history lesson in too.
The cellar space of The Finborough Arms is perfect for this. The cast managed to greet every audience member in person like a long lost friend, and escorted everyone to their seat. The relaxed, joyful atmosphere continues with a bit of a sing-along, introductions and then the story of the Dingle Sturgeon. There are jokes, singing, dancing, and a potted history of Ireland cleverly delivered to the tune of American Pie.
The cast of four play all of the characters and instruments, keeping high energy levels going throughout. They capture perfectly the drinking and storytelling traditions; the embellishments, the humour, the constant interruptions. If you can’t get over to the local in Dingle, this is the next best thing.
Although finished at The Finborough Arms, it will be at other locations around the country. A really enjoyable evening, highly recommended and I look forward to seeing further productions from this company.
Written by: Megan Jenkins
Produced by: The Red Fox Theatre Company
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.