In the 1200AD Chronicon Anglicanum, Ralph of Coggeshall documented the tale of the Wild Man of Orford. Describing a naked wild man, covered in hair, the mysterious figure was caught in the nets of local fishermen around 1167. Mute and feral, the man was imprisoned in Orford Castle for six months before vanishing without a trace. Accounts of the era questioned if the captive was a merman, though it would be centuries until such a story could be reconsidered as a mental health problem.
Using the power of words and storytelling, Fishskin Trousers by Elizabeth Kuti, weaves together the haunting tales of three lost people from different eras, united by the mysteries of the island of Orford Ness.
Directed by Robert Price, and with a cast that includes Brett Brown, Jessica Carroll and Eva Traynor, the official press night will be on Thursday 19th October, 7pm.
From the 12th century, Mab gives an eye-witness account of the legendary Wild Man of Orford, caught in the nets of fishermen. Eight hundred years later, at the height of the Cold War, Ben, a young Australian scientist, hears strange noises on the Ness as he tries to fix the island’s radar system. While local teacher Mog, in 2004, is compelled home to Orford when struck with a terrible dilemma.
Suffused by the landscape and traditional folk tales of East Anglia, these echoing voices intertwine to reveal how the stories of human lives connect in the most surprising and intimate ways, though decades – and even centuries – separate them.
Brett Brown’s theatre credits include his solo Henry V [Man and Monarch] (York Theatre Royal & international tour); Hamlet (HamletScenen, Kronborg Castle, Denmark); The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company); Fishskin Trousers (Finborough Theatre); Macbeth (Little Angel Theatre); Dear World (Charing Cross Theatre); Phaedra (The Cockpit); Coalition: Westminster Side Story (Theatre 503); Oh What a Lovely War (Haymarket Basingstoke); and Last Seen (Almeida). Film includes The Theory of Everything (Working Title). A distinguished singer, opera credits include Cavalleria Rusticana; Pagliacci; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera Australia) and La Bohème (OperaUpClose).
Jessica Carroll’s theatre credits include The Broken Token (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Lakeside, William Andrews Clark – Los Angeles); Fishskin Trousers (Finborough, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Lakeside); Quirks (Southwark Playhouse); A Short History of the Royal Court (Shoreditch Town Hall); Climate Change Play in a Day (Arcola Theatre); Last Seen (Almeida) and Daisy Pulls It Off (Lyric Hammersmith). Film includes Polar and TV includes Downton Abbey. Jessica was named ‘highly commended’ in the Carleton Hobbs BBC Radio Drama Competition, and has an extensive voiceover career in videogames, audiobooks, cartoons and the TV and ﬁlm ADR circuit.
Eva Traynor recently played Ophelia in Hamlet for East Riding Theatre. Other stage credits include: Fishskin Trousers (Finborough Theatre and touring), Kate in The Sea Plays (Old Vic Tunnels). Film & TV includes Queen of the Desert (Werner Herzog), Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (Donald Rice/Goldcrest Films), Shades of Love (Gate Television). Other performance work includes regular appearances with Live Canon poetry ensemble, including Winchester’s Live Advent Calendar 2015 and Burns Nights for Oxford Playhouse and Greenwich Theatre; and period dance (1100s – 20thC) with Nonsuch History & Dance.
Director Robert Price currently works at LAMDA as a director and voice teacher. He has also taught and directed at RADA, RCSSD, Arts Ed, and for East 15. Before working as a teacher, Robert was an actor in Dublin playing with most of the country’s theatre companies including Bedrock, Rough Magic, The Abbey and Peacock Theatres and The Gate. He is Artistic Director of Lubkinfinds Theatre Company and has developed and produced several new plays, short plays and readings including: Fishskin Trousers, The Broken Token, Enter a Gentleman, Time Spent on Trains, Eighty Miles, United Incandescent and Blue Pencil. Robert has also directed new scripts by Glyn Maxwell, Philip Terry, Jonathan Lichenstein and Annecy Lax.
Fishskin Trousers by Elizabeth Kuti
Venue: PARK90, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP
Dates: 17th October – 11th November
Press night: 19th October, 7pm
Age guidance: 12+