Love and hope rise out of the murky depths of slavery
The story begins with a Fisherman (Hayes) trying to make a living and being met with obstacles out of his control. One day he makes a surprising catch – a beautiful fish that transforms into a human, Little Fish (Lee). Having a wife and a baby to feed the Fisherman makes the fateful decision to take a job on a deep sea trawler where he is subject to cruelty and trapped on the boats for months at a time. Meanwhile Little Fish is tricked into working at the fish processing factory and also becomes subject to the cruelty of others.
Little Fish remains hopeful and kind despite her circumstances which emphasises the manipulative, cruel and selfish traits in the people she meets. While Lee plays Little Fish throughout, Hayes takes on the other roles with aplomb. Both performers have amazing physicality but Lee is perhaps given more of an opportunity to shine as we are drawn into her world.
This world is enhanced by a beautifully realised set by designer Maeli Cherel, and built by Étain Boscato. Likewise, the sound and lighting designs by Isaac Diamond and Phoebe Pilcher, respectively, complement each other very well. In particular, the scene when Little Fish (as a human) jumps into the water only to find she can’t breathe is one of many memorable moments.
Produced by Erin Lockyer, “The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish” is an enchanting, mythical tale about the very real circumstances of workers being tricked into working for months at a time, in terrible conditions, for little or no pay. The play focusses on the fishing industry, yet this is the reality of many people around the world who are caught up in the systems of globalisation that reward unscrupulous practices.
“The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish” is showing at the Blue Room Theatre Studio until Saturday 22 September.
Photo credit: Susie Blachford