Through the eyes of a giant talking Fish, a magical encounter of two girls across time and oceans tells a story of an eccentric family and incredible natural disaster in Japan. A multimedia one-woman theatrical show deeply inspired by 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami.
- 8:45 pm
- 5:30 pm
- 5:00 pm
- 8:45 pm
- 7:15 pm
- 5:30 pm
Presented by Rundown Cutehouse/Sachie
Location: McManus Stage
4 thoughts on “Fish Saw”
Fish Saw is a story that embraces Japanese folklore tradition and has the potential to successfully present this to a Fringe audience. However, this production becomes waterlogged by its own ambition and flounders its way to a disjointed finish.
Fish Saw is a one-woman, multimedia show that follows conversations between a “little girl in glasses” and a fish aptly named Mr. Fish. The modest stage was set with bamboo sticks and a projection screen in the back corner, the rest of the imagery bounces back and forth between live action and the screen.
The costuming and illustrations were very whimsical and a joy to behold, which included Sachie Mikawa changing in and out of a sequined fish costume behind the screen at various points. However, this show is brand new and with that comes challenges that both the audience and Mikawa needed to push through.
There is an endearing, deep, and moving story within the play but it gets bogged down with too many storylines at once. I would encourage you to attend this show despite the technical downfalls that I witnessed on opening night because Mikawa is such a pleasure to watch. She transitions from sweet and innocent as the little girl to straightforward, poetic, and almost gruff as the cigar-chomping Mr. Fish.
I do believe this show is what the Fringe festival is all about. It’s quirky, it’s adorable, there are incredibly poetic moments such as when she pour sand from her ear and during the video production as the waves lap upon the shore. And, of course, I never would have dreamed that I could love an old noodle ghost as much as I did in this story.
London Fringe — Ambitious, Flawed Production Needs Time to Mature
By Jay Menard
Any good angler knows that if you catch a fish that’s not mature enough, you need to throw it back and give it time to grow. While Fish Saw ambitiously took a bite at hooking the audience, it still needs more time, better editing, and greater focus before it’s ready to reel in the rave reviews.
There is a tremendous amount of potential in Sachie Mikawa and George Lewis’ play. There are absolutely poetic moments, beautiful imagery, engaging quirkiness, and an endearing lead in Mikawa. However, these positives get obscured by a meandering plot, extraneous non-sequiturs, superfluous characters that take too much of the play’s time, and, of course, technical challenges.
Fish Saw, in many ways, sets itself up for failure. It is a tech-heavy show that blends lighting, sound cues, and a large-screen visual element run off a projector in the middle of the audience. During the opening night performance (its debut performance anywhere), there were several audio cues that were delayed or played out of sequence. At one point the screen went dark at a time when Mikawa was mirroring what was happening on screen with a patch of sand on the stage. And on a handful of occasions, Mikawa was left waiting, frozen in an awkward position, while she awaited a sound or visual cue to arrive.
Certainly, it was an ambitious production. But the challenge with anything that’s multimedia in nature is that if one domino falls, it can bring the rest of the production down with it. And that’s what we saw with Fish Saw — the production quickly became disjointed and with it went the plot.
There are several plot lines and stories interweaved throughout this production — many with no actual point. And a major character that serves as the focal point of the key emotional moment — a heartbreaking tragedy that brings about the conclusion of the play — is only introduced in the final few moments of the production (though, to be fair, the character is alluded to earlier in a video element.)
Fish Saw is a play you want to see succeed. Mikawa is so endearing that you’re rooting for her throughout. And, at the heart of it, there’s a beautifully poetic story that’s augmented by stunning visuals. It just needs some editing, refinement, focus, and — most importantly — time to sort out.
Fish Saw was a joy to watch. The characters introduced were interesting and the metaphors in the story worked well, woven throughout. I found the multimedia elements enchanting and really added to the telling of the story. Yes, this is the wonder of Fringe — a beguiling story, one actor, minimal set, and interesting characters that speak to your heart.
I saw this show Monday and the technical problems that seem to have plagued the production earlier in its run have been largely if not entirely resolved. And we are left with a delightful story about family, loss and the birth of stories.
The story is told imaginatively and charmingly through the interactions of The Little Girl With Glasses and the fish whose life she saved. In the end, the tsunami will leave only the fish as witness to the history of the girl’s family but along the way we learn of the strange and wonderful series of events that led the family members to that particular point in time. All of the play’s elements- both technical and the fine performance of Sachie Mikawa- work together to create an emotionally engaging and inspiring show.
Comments are closed.