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Fisherman's Friends The Musical

 

Fisherman's Friends is a new musical based on the hit film from 2019 based on the true story of a group of singers from a Cornish fishing village who have a smash hit album and end up playing at Glastonbury and it's at Milton Keynes Theatre this week on its debut tour.

This is a story which lends itself perfectly to a live theatre experience - with the cast playing their instruments and singing rousing sea shanties, the show manages to recreate the atmosphere of a rowdy pub and you feel like you've spent an evening immersed in the culture.

It's a show with plenty of soul and authenticity both musically and in the story, telling the real heritage of how the music has been passed down through generations of fishermen and is at the heart of the Cornish community.  So when a swanky London A&R man Danny (played by Jason Langley) swaggers into Port Isaac and hears the band performing in the pub he's got his work cut out to convince them to let him try to get them signed to a major record label but to do so, he has to learn about the trust, friendship and sense of community at the heart of the music.

The members of the male vocal group lead a large cast with Jim fronting the band (James Gaddas), a no-nonsense gruff bloke who takes a while to warm to Danny. His daughter Alwyn (Parisa Shamir) is also a singer and her folky vocals steal the show with some stunning performances.  There's a few twists and turns but generally the plot is relatively predictable although the music is the real star of the show with the acapella performances particularly powerful.

The show features hit shanties made famous by the band including Keep Haulin’, Nelson's Blood, No Hopers Jokers & Rogues and even a bit of the lockdown hit Wellerman. There's also a rendition of the unofficial Cornish anthem Trelawney.

There is a terrific energy to this show with plenty of happy, foot stomping dancing around the pub which creates a great feelgood mood.  Everyone seems to be genuinely loving the chance to be part of the show and it's hard to believe they're not real shanty singing fishermen!

Whether you've seen the movie or just sucked the sweets, this is a great show that won't disappoint as you fully immerse yourself in this joyful world and enjoy a really good night out.

 

 

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