Brighton Fringe: FishHead

Tom Locke, May 2014

"All the best stories started at the sea," said Lydia. FishHead starts by the sea when Tom is washed ashore, almost drowned. The story of oysters, dreams and a puppet thus unfolds, with just three Perspex boxes as props.

We were on the beach; inside a small caravan; at the pub; and in a boat at sea. Three figures helped move us there, sometimes they were seals, sometimes rocks, sometimes something else, undefinable. Between the scenes with Tom and Lydia a radio interview with Tom filled in the gaps, the gaps in the story about oyster fishing.

FishHead is beautifully written and should not be explained but experienced. This was theatre that moved the emotions and asked questions of the head. It required it's audience to use their imaginations and open their hearts.

Lydia was underplayed with delicate sensitivity by Michelle Pogmore, an outstanding performance. Trev Fleming's Tom was desperate and afraid in perfect measure. Tiffany Hosking directed and also wrote this joyous uplifting story.

'FishHead,' (Hosking's programme notes) tells of living and dying well, of faith, of living one's dreams, and looking after one another.' Without sentimentality or preaching the story ended and the audience cheered like thunder.