by Stephen Lee Rees
Serving up a hot portion of comedy with a pot of dramatic battered bits are Jean and Norman Bakewell; owners of ‘The Cod Father’ chip shop. Whilst one works hard to keep the business afloat, the other dreams of escape – perhaps to the South of France?
Unable to afford another member of staff, Norman works hard everyday to make ends meet, however, Jean has just about given up on the shop and wants out. Jean craves passion, adventure and to feel something other than grease between her toes. Norman, on the other hand, has a new interest in marketing ‘The Cod Father’ and dreams of global success – well – local success in the form of a chip van. From the get go, they laugh and joke about anything and anyone but it isn’t until the harsh words cut deep that they are both feeling neglected and question whether their relationship is as strong as they once thought.
Add to the mix Norman’s fun-loving brother Grayson (also Jean’s old flame) and love begins to blossom, but not in the right direction.
So with the discovery of an old love letter and a diary detailing a specific event in the play, the reality of their lives is revealed but is it too late to go back?
‘Fish & Chips’ is a play about love – lost love and re-evaluating love, of high hopes and crashing dreams, of fearing the future and struggling to survive.
The play was first written in 2007 and began rehearsals whilst Stephen was at University, unfortunately the play was cancelled and forgotten about – many attempts have been made to revive it, along with several script re-writes but eventually the play was put forward to Marde Hen Productions (A Theatre Company SLR is a member of) and was showcased in February 2016.
“Fish and Chips is an apt name for a production definitely in two halves, comedy and tragedy, humour and heartbreak, light and shade.” Dan Webber reviewed the play for Downstage Centre. You can read the full review by clicking on the link: here.
“A very smooth and well-constructed production, and I take my proverbial hat off to you. It was funny, evoking even thought provoking, and for a large percent of the time moving in ways that I would never have thought a chip shop and its owners could ever do!” Duncan Leech reviewed the play for The Theatre Monkeys. You can read the full review by clicking on the link: here.
“This is a play which has great characters, with some hilarious one-liners and a plot which is both funny and moving.” Amanda Penman reviewed the play for Arts Beat. You can read the full review by clicking on the link: here.
“The play captured many aspects of the human psyche and how we deal with it – lost love, grief, shattered and longed for dreams, loneliness, dissatisfaction with your ‘lot’, lack of communication etc. and this superb cast brought out every aspect of these with insightfulness, sensitivity and humour.” Joyce Handbury reviewed the play for NODA. You can read the full review by clicking on the link: here.
Mik Horvath as Norman Bakewell
Jane Wilton as Jean Bakewell
Paul Davies as Grayson Bakewell
Vanessa McAuley as Sally Roberts
Pip Price as Kenneth Jones
Ann Taylor & Andrew Barlow as customers
(Poster for 2016 Production)