Mark Rylance Nice Fish angling to hook theatre-goers with free plaices

Nice Fish. Images Teddy Woolf
Nice Fish. Images Teddy Woolf

Got your rod at the ready? Hook yourself a plaice at the catch of the day where fishermen go free – the Louis Jenkins comedy Nice Fish.

Producer Sonia Friedman may be angling to land a bumper audience but this daft idea could net record numbers when the show opens in the West End later this year.

Nice Fish, starring Mark Rylance and directed by his wife, Claire van Kampen, transfers from New York to the Harold Pinter Theatre, in London’s West End, this November.

And you can’t carp about an offer that provides free tickets in private boxes every night to audience members dressed as fish or fishermen.

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In a unique collaboration with critically-acclaimed Minnesotan contemporary prose poet Louis Jenkins, Mark Rylance draws on his teenage years in the frozen winters and culture of the American Midwest.

This beguiling new play follows an ice fishing expedition where the ordinary and extraordinary collide in a sublimely playful and profound way.

On a frozen Minnesota lake, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season and on the frostbitten, unforgiving landscape, two old friends are out on the ice and they are angling for something big, something down there that is pure need, something that, had it the wherewithal, would swallow them whole.

If you are keen to hook a ticket then you’ll have to come dressed as a fish or fisherman (with your fishing rod) to get yourself a complimentary ticket in a private box.

Available on a first come first served basis from 6pm on the night of the performance (1.30pm for matinees). One ticket available per person. Don’t be shellfish, bring a friend!

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The full New York cast will transfer to London for the run. Ron (Mark Rylance) and Erik (Jim Lichtscheidl) play old friends whose ordinary lives are comically exposed during the trip. They are joined by Kayli Carter, Bob Davis and Raye Birk.

Mark Rylance last appeared in the West End in Claire van Kampen’s Olivier Award-winning Farinelli and the King (Shakespeare’s Globe, West End). Prior to that he appeared in Tim Carroll’s hugely lauded sell-out productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III (Shakespeare’s Globe, West End, Broadway).

Writer Louis Jenkins started working with Mark Rylance on the stage production of Nice Fish in 2008, and it is based on Louis’ poetry.

The American Repertory Theater production of Nice Fish runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre from November 15–January 21.

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