Birmingham and London
WOT? NO FISH!!: Devised by Danny Braverman & Nick Philipou
Birmingham Rep: 7 & 8 July 2016, & Battersea Arts Centre
Runs: 1h 20m, no interval
BO (Birmingham): 0121 236 4455
Also Battersea Arts Centre 11 – 16 July
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 07 07 16
Such love, it takes your breath away
WOT? NO FISH!! is a truly beautiful piece of work. Introducing the performance Danny Braveman tells us about the sauce that traditionally accompanies Jewish fish balls; it’s made from three ingredients apparently, horseradish (the bitter), beetroot (the sweet) – and love. The story Braverman tells us is about love; to be embraced into this story, as we in the audience are, is to be loved too. Braverman has a generosity, a charm, a warmth that is mesmerising.
The story we are told is Braverman’s story, so too is it the story of his great-grand-something – the family relationships are extensive and complex. Ab is a shoemaker in 1920s London East End. The second story is about Ab’s long and touching marriage and all that that entails. Ab kept a diary throughout his life detailing the funny and touching details. But this was no ordinary diary; Ab had a talent for drawing. Each week he recorded events in marvellous illustrations on wage packets. Braverman, white-gloved, lovingly shares these gems of history with us.
Round these drawings, Braverman spins his real-life history, rich in engrossing detail. What we get is not only a family history, but also a history of changing times, of Jewish working-class history, of all of our history, of shifts in the NHS, in education, in attitudes to sex and sexuality.
This gentle show has all the power to move and amuse of a conventional drama, yet it’s all done with Braverman’s easy-going, relaxed and chatty manner. WOT? NO FISH!! is unique. And it’s magic.
A collaboration between Danny Braverman and Nick Philippou
Written and performed by Danny Braverman
Originally directed by Nick Philippou