Fisherman's Friends The Musical (Tour), Richmond Theatre | Review

Friday 3 March 2023

Fisherman's Friends The Musical (Tour)
Richmond Theatre

When a group of Cornish fisherman got together to sing for fun, little did they know they'd become successful professional musicians, or that they'd be the subject of a film and now a musical. Fisherman's Friends The Musical is based on the lives of the people in that group, and the community around them in Port Isaac. It's a story about friendship, family, the sea and those who spend their lives working on it.

When former record company employer Danny (Jason Langley) visits the village and hears the men's singing, he makes it his mission to get them a record label, and restore his own reputation in the music industry. Aside from a few minor plots, that's really all the show is about and as it's pretty predictable at times it can drag. However, in lulled moments there's always a rousing sea shanty round the corner to buoy you back up.

Whilst the show is definitely more song than script, under the direction of James Grieve the cast do a fabulous job of conveying the emotions and bringing the Cornish community to life. James Gaddas takes the wheel as the un-appointed boss and voice of reason; often interacting with witty one liners and providing a path for the story to take.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jason Langley is the cheeky chappy full of swagger and is so entertaining as well as endearing. As his love interest Alwyn, Parisa Shahmir is a vocal siren. Her voice is hauntingly melodic and she has the nuanced acting chops to match it.

Lucy Osborne's dockside set with Johanna Town's atmospheric lighting perfectly brings to life the seaside town, seamlessly transforming into the inside of the pub and later. The rocking sea feels completely realistic and there are some very impressive moments when the men are out fishing.

Fisherman's Friends the Musical is not the most exciting piece of theatre but it's got heart in heaps and is a very wholesome way to spend a couple of hours. A story about community and friendship, the whole piece is really down to earth and is a real feel good show.

Reviewed on Thursday 2nd March 2023 by Olivia Mitchell
photo credit: Pamela Raith

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}