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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

The Frantic Canticles of Little Brother Fish

Babolin Theatre

Genre: Musical Theatre, Physical Theatre

Venue: The Bedlam


Low Down

Babolin welcome you to their monastery in deepest Depravia, where choristers chant and goose quills frantically scratch out the chronicle of an ancient quest. Winner of an Outstanding Theatre Award 2015 from FringeReview.


‘The Frantic Canticles of Little Brother Fish’ is an energetic and creative theatrical production by Babolin Theatre. Told by a strong ensemble of young actors, this delightfully playful physical and musical comedy is just what a Fringe production should be. Cleverly using only a few hand-made props, two black crates, microphones, piano and a guitar, the Babolin Theatre ensemble take you on an absurd adventure to save ‘Depravia’, a fictitious country in the Dark Ages of Europe.

The devised fable of “the baby born in water” is expertly executed by a company that is reinvigorating the theatrical genre. ‘Little Brother Fish’, the baby born in water, is saved by ‘Cozly the Goat’, and adopted by the Depravian people as a most beloved child. His destiny is one of greatness and his connection with nature is not of this world. We watch as ‘Fish’ becomes a man, a monk and discovers his true identity on a Godly quest.

The talent of this incredible ensemble is quite stunning. Their vocal and physical dexterity, their comedy timing and awareness of their genre, their originality and musical ability is just amazing. The ensemble is superbly directed by Alexander Scott and their commitment to every detail of the show is admirable. The show is divided into chapters, introduced with harmonious a cappella chanting, with the hauntingly evocative musical composition of Tom Penn enhancing every scene of this show. The songs are wickedly witty and the structure of the story is imaginatively self aware.

As an audience member I left with a buzz of positivity, that the next generation of theatre-makers are able to demonstrate such playful craftsmanship, and that their highly original production is such a success. For this is what the Edinburgh Fringe is really about- giving young practitioners a chance to hone their skills and stamp their mark on the ever-changing and undefinable genre of theatre, and allowing audiences to “take a punt” on an emerging company and enjoy the fruits of their creative work.

‘The Frantic Canticles of Little Brother Fish’ is an outstanding production and a must-see. It is an hour of inspiration, silliness, originality and elegant storytelling.