Skip to main content

squidboy compositeIt is a truth, uni­ver­sally acknow­ledged, that no endeav­our is worth even the most curs­ory of con­sid­er­a­tions unless it has won an award. In a world that is rid­den with cul­ture, we, as cul­tured humans, will take any dir­ec­tion we can. As we drown beneath tid­al waves of things to see, hear or know, awards are our life pre­serv­ers, keep­ing our heads above the tide. So in the interest of drilling home which shows you should really feel bad for hav­ing missed, I present to you… the First Annu­al Fish­Head Theatre (and Asso­ci­ated Per­form­ing Arts) Awards for Excep­tion­al Acts of Enter­tain­ment, Interest or Excel­lence. I call them the Fish­ies, because then I can get a ‘Some­thing Fish­ies going on’ gag in here somewhere.

The first Fish­ie is the Most Act­ing Award for Best Solo Show. It was a strong year for shows about young white women mak­ing overly earn­est solo works about big issues wherein they play at least ten char­ac­ters (one of which needs to be a com­ic eld­erly per­son and oth­er a well-mean­ing but thick rur­al jock).

The two shows that rose to the top to tie for the award were Ren­ee Lyons’ Nick: An Acci­dent­al Hero, which owned its audi­ences with an intric­ate depth and intim­acy; and Emily Taylor’s Can­non­ball, which made up for its bor­der­line inco­her­ent plot with Taylor’s con­stantly sur­pris­ing char­ac­ters – some of whom you’d be hard pressed to recog­nise as the same per­son unless you hadn’t seen the trans­form­a­tion before your very eyes.

There’s the Oblig­at­ory Men­tion of the Clos­ing of Down­stage Award for Best Inev­it­able but Still Sad Passing of a Loved One That Prob­ably Really is for the Best in the End, which goes to, well, Down­stage. For Best Break-up, Paul Wag­gott and Erin Banks in Tribes pipped both Paul Wag­gott and Erin Banks in Broken River, and Paul Wag­gott and Erin Banks in Joseph K, to the post.

            Worst Poster goes to no one, because I’ve decided it was mean-spir­ited since I star­ted typ­ing this sen­tence. But ser­i­ously, there are, like, three graph­ic design schools in this city, so there is no excuse for all the ugly posters this year. Best Circa Show (Charm­ing Two-hander in Circa Two Cat­egory) goes, eas­ily, to the power­ful Red, but a very big men­tion should go the very delight­ful “play with songs”, Mid­sum­mer.

The Awards are Just Polit­ics Award for Most Robbed Show goes, without a doubt, to The Road That Wasn’t There, Trick of the Light’s big, warm hug of a show for chil­dren that some­how man­aged to make it through all three major Fringes without a single award – an injustice I have now rec­ti­fied. I also hear whis­pers that it’s back next year.

And, of course, the Oh, I Had Tick­ets, I Just, Some­thing Came Up! Award for Show You Should Regret Miss­ing the Most goes to the hys­ter­ic­ally dis­tor­ted jour­ney through ima­gin­a­tion that was Squid­boy. If I could see any of the year’s shows again, this would be it. It may have simply been one man in a black box play­ing silly pre­tend, but when you’re doing it as well as Try­gve Waken­shaw was, well, you don’t need any­thing else. Best show of the year being about a squid? Some­thing Fish­ies going on!


Decem­ber Theatre Recommendations

The No Fefe Col­lect­ive, which brought us the large-cast polit­ic­al satire PSAs straight from the geni­us pen of James Nokise, is try­ing some­thing a little dif­fer­ent this silly sea­son with PSA: Christ­mas with Celia, a scaled-down but no less scab­rous one-woman trip through the year in polit­ics. It’s at BATS ( from 10 to 14 December.

Circa ( has two hol­i­day offer­ings for you to choose from. There is tra­di­tion­al pan­to­mime, with Michele Amas’s take on Moth­er Goose, which prom­ises to be a deli­cious, dec­ad­ent slice of fam­ily fun. And they’re also bring­ing back Ray Henwood’s charm­ing pub­lic read­ing of Dickens’s A Christ­mas Car­ol, which runs until 21 December.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.