FISHWIVES' tales don't come much better than this.
Ann Coburn’s play tells the tale of three very different “herring lassies” in Eyemouth in 1881. Some of you may have heard that in that year a freak storm hit the border harbour town.
Here, a mother, daughter and family friend live their lives around the Eyemouth harbour. They sing songs and tell stories while gutting the fish their men bring ashore. In the first act the three characters bounce off each other, three women with very different personal struggles.
Eleanor Dennison is Jean, a cleanliness- obsessed mother. As she battles to keep her flighty daughter Molly at home, her emotions are frighteningly repressed.
Teenage Molly, played by Rose Leslie in her first professional theatre role, brims with youthful exuberance and wide-eyed wonder.
The third character is Janet, a widow and friend of Jean. Played with buoyant optimism by Bidi Iredale, she inspires Molly and infuriates Jean in equal measure. All three performers are outstanding; the cast perfect foils for one another. If the first half is all about the characters striving to keep their emotions in check, the second act had the audience trying to maintain theirs.
Throughout the piece, the use of traditional songs and language is a pleasure. Director Gillian Hambleton has done a superb job in bringing the script to life.
The play is touring until the end of the month. Times and dates can be found on www.northumberlandtheatre.co.uk