Tuesday, April 23

Yellowfin – Southwark Playhouse

Yellowfin: Marek Horn’s second play and hilarious dive into the mindset of a life in a possible near future? Set in one room, we watch Calantini (Joshua James) interrogated by three senators: Marianne (Nancy Crane), Stephen (Beruce Khan) and the very sweet Roy (Nicholas Day) who reminds us all of our favourite family elder who cannot help but share their favourite memories of a time before.

This play tackles a theme of which we are all apart of but also touches on something only a few may admit too: responsibility of the outcome. Calantini is questioned harshly about the death of his brother in relation to the disappearance of fish. He floats through their attacks skilfully with humour and pace, something this cast excelled at. Although this runs straight through with no interval, the audience is given time to breathe as they push through time with a small but stunning movement piece which was a sprinkle of something beautiful, showing maybe an inner to each of these characters that they are willing to reveal.

Photo: Helen Maybanks

As this story pushes Calantini to a boiling point, we are introduced to this dystopian world with references to ‘the English’ who came to a terrible end, ‘the dutch’s tulips’ and other things we know and love that died out. As this is such a theme of our everyday lives, it intrigues me to know more but I was left with more questions than answers on this outside world they inhabit- but maybe that’s the point, maybe that world isn’t that different to our own and there’s not much more to learn. The ending of this piece was satisfying, although possibly slightly predictable but a very pleasing way to end with a simple note that our behaviours may never change and even in our trying, we don’t intend to fix, we intend to fulfil our own desires until it will kill us.

Director Ed Madden, who also runs ‘Walrus’ a new writing company clearly had great love for this production, you can see the chemistry in the cast. Great trust and play between them to speak at such pace with time to allow each other to breathe- like watching a professional game of table tennis go back and forth out of slow motion to fast. It was mentioned in the Director’s notes that Nancy Crane said this play “is about words” as they all have their own ‘interpretation’ on the past and indeed their own ‘process’ of how they healed which as an audience was touching but as a young audience perhaps also terrifying to be sharing with our elders a sense of loss to something that is not yet lost. I found this incredibly touching and impressed at how the writing tackles this in a subtle way.

An extra applause for the creative crew, Anisha Fields, Rajiv Pattani, Max Pappenheim and Cassie Harrison for their beautiful vision which made this production extra special with stunning music, lighting states and designs.

Yellowfin plays at Southwark Playhouse until the 6th November with further information and tickets being found at https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-whats-on/yellowfin/

Reviewer: Alice Rose

Reviewed: 16th October 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★