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Nice Fish – groping for trout in a peculiar river.

Nice Fish – groping for trout in a peculiar river.

What is with the bloody honours system atm eh?

There I am watching a bit of news so I can pretend I’m a bit grown up and give a damn – and in a dimpsy light up pops this fellow, pale as if fluorescent is as near to sunlight as he’s ever got, and he starts pontificating on something or other I completely missed ‘cos the caption revealed he was a Lord Livingstone. Who the fuck is Lord Livingstone? What did he do to advance mankind and make the world a happier place? I checked and he ran BT (not for want of nearly a year of asking nicley, I still can’t dial out on my land line) and became a junior government minister.  Unlike his good Dr namesake, no missionary position for him.

So I’m told.

Thank goodness that sometimes, just sometimes, those in command recognise that they risk completely despoiling the acutely enfeebled structure of the barrel they are scraping and turn instead to bob for talent in the overfilled barrel of apples that is our world of sport,  entertainment and people who actually do stuff.

And so –  ‘Arise Sir Mark Rylance’.


In the same way that ‘Buried Child’ is not entertainment, so ‘Nice Fish’ is not a play. The good Knight has co-written what amounts to a series of sketches, many comedic – very! – and some melancholic (unless you don’t like the jokes and then it’s all pretty melancholic set as it is up north Minnesota way on the ice where two men are fishing as the season ends and it’s cold and windy). The reviews are all over the place.

Does it matter?


It would be a privilege to watch Mark Rylance sit in a chair in a dark room (unlike Lord Livingstone for whom it is a privilege to sit in the dark on a roomy chair) and this perhaps is the problem. The good Knight is just too good. He is outstanding in the way that most actors cannot and will not ever be. And so when he is on stage the whole theatre is full of magic dust, but when he leaves, the Minnesotan weather fills the void. We are cold and we miss him. Mark (if I may?) hurry back and raise an eyebrow or fiddle with a beer can or drop your phone or face the back of the stage or something. You don’t have to say anything but please don’t leave. Ed Harris didn’t. It’s just not that good without you.

Should you go and see it? Absolutely! He’s a Sir for a bloody good reason! The lady behind was powering through on a day return from York and she loved it. (Doesn’t like Brannagh though, for what it’s worth – apparently he’s always Brannagh).

Just be aware that there may be a few cold spells. There. I’ve said it. But hey – I’m only saying what we’re all thinking.

Just like about that Livingstone fellow.


By Chris Parkinson @parkinsontweets

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