Fighting the Tide, Holt

FRANK CLIFF The hero of Kate Bramley's new play is Edam Saul, trawlerman and carpenter, for the wrecks and the hardships of the once prosperous Hull trawling community are the inspiration for the play.

FRANK CLIFF

In 1968 three Hull trawlers were lost off the coast of Iceland. There was a sole survivor, Harry Edam.

The hero of Kate Bramley's new play is Edam Saul, trawlerman and carpenter, for the wrecks and the hardships of the once prosperous Hull trawling community are the inspiration for the play.

Kate Bramley is a young writer and director who has established a reputation with the Hull Truck Theatre Company and her own company, BadApple Theatre, which is touring the play until the end of March.

However, this is no documentary drama but a play with music (excellent original folk songs from Jez Lowe) both funny and tragic. Edam Saul, whose half biblical name is mirrored by that of his companion, unemployed postman Simon Peter, puts to sea for an Odysseus-like voyage of seven years, culminating in a last trawl in the Arctic with predictable results.

The idea is good, but despite tremendous hard work from the cast of three, Brendan Fleming, Paul Parris and Isobel Pravda, who act splendidly and mostly do justice to the songs, it doesn't quite come off. It is not quite a musical and less a structured drama than a series of sketches. As such it falls between too many stalls; neither fish, fowl nor good red herring in fact.

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t The performance reviewed was at Gresham's School Auden Theatre, Holt.