City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Money Fi$h, Paradise in the Vault, Review


By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 22 August 2016

The Money Fi$h - courtesy
4
Show details
Venue: 
The Vault
Company: 
John Cox
Running time: 
70mins
Production: 
John Cox (writer), Johanna Cypis (director), Mike Abramson (producer), Leigh Allen (lighting designer), Julie Ferrin (sound designer).
Performers: 
John Cox.

One thing I can tell you for sure, hell isn’t hot. Hell is freezing cold, wet, and stinks of fish.

And there is veracity in that statement, as the man standing in front of you has braved the icy Bering Sea, worked 18 hour days sorting fish on a fetid trawler, his existence shrunk to ten square feet.

There is no escape from the conveyer belt of quickly shower, quickly eat, quickly sleep. Training as an Airborne Ranger allows him to feel cocky about taking on the probationary period as a greenhorn, but this is killing him.

When wild deckhand Junior gets thrown off another boat for fighting he starts to see a way to survive. “Nobody can fuck with a hard worker” and so he deals with the seasickness and works harder, doing things before being told. The faster the fish are dumped aboard the more cash will be made. Mackerel are dollars – the money fish.

Childhood experiences and poverty growing up, together with the military drill, have made him driven. Money and promotion are the goals. Deck crew earn both respect and money and the course to being skipper is charted out.

The route will require him to learn more than the other crew members, a new way of working and more than a little about himself. In 40 feet swells, with cables and hooks lashing around, all he then needs to do is keep his head. The question will be whether the net result of risking life to chase a shoal of money is worth it.

This one man show gives a fascinating glimpse into the deadliest job in the world. John Cox is a ball of energy as he transforms himself to become a boat load of characters whom you would never meet on land. The drive that took him to hell and back is now invested in this story as he pivots on the pitching deck to become the foul mouthed Junior or the gimlet eyed chain-smoking captain.

It may be a straight forward piece of theatre but it’s skilfully told, with excellent movement and sound design. It seems that this Fringe production does not have the full stage set and effects that would take it to a further crest.

Show Times: 5 – 28 (not 14, 21) August 2016 at 3.55pm.

Tickets: £4 to £10. £30 (family).

Suitability: 16+