Nice Fish

After a sell-out season in New York, Nice Fish is heading to West End for a strictly limited engagement this winter. The show stars BAFTA- and Academy-winner Mark Rylance in a collaboration with the critically-acclaimed prose poet Louis Jenkins.

Nice Fish is the tale of two old friends who are out on a frozen lake in Minnesota. The creaking and groaning of the ice indicate that the fishing season is over, but they’re still waiting for something big; something that could swallow them whole.

The tale draws on Mark Rylance’s own experiences as a teenager in the American Midwest. On this ice fishing adventure, the ordinary meets the extraordinary.

Other cast members include Jim Lichtscheidl (Erik) who plays alongside Rylance as well as Raye Birk, Kayli Carter and Bob Davis.

Erik brings along his less-than-adept friend Ron (played by Rylance) on an ice fishing trip. The odd couple shares funny and sometimes-deep stories about life, from romance to their shared past in Minnesota.

In the midst of it all, the two friends meet several people, including a local official who shows up with a long list of regulations and nags them about having fishing licenses. A woman named Flo appears, and shares some important life wisdom.

The two friends have completely different attitudes about life, which is highlighted in their monologues throughout the show.

The production features excellent theatrical effects, which include blackout scenes.

The show will have a limited season at the Harold Pinter this winter, and features a talented cast.

Mark Rylance was born in England, but he spent much of his childhood in the Midwest. He has appeared in the films Institute Benjamenta, Angels and Insects, and Prospero’s Books. Rylance also made appearances in the West End productions of Jerusalem and Much Ado About Nothing. In 2015, he took on the role of Thomas Cromwell in the BBC Two series Wolf Hall. That performance earned him Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Jim Lichtscheidl has played in The Public Domain, The Confession of Lee Harvey Oswald, Best Man Down, With or Without You and In an Instant. He is also filming Hap and Ashley and Farmer of the Year.

Nice Fish’s creative team includes Claire von Kampen as director; Ilona Somogyi as costume designer; and Claire von Kampen on original music.

The 95-minute play features several short scenes and extracts from Jenkins’ poems. The show will run from 15 November through 11 February.