As you walk into the Lyric Theatre at The Lowry, there are sounds of seagulls echoing throughout the hall. It makes you feel as if you are by the seaside.
Fisherman’s Friends is about a group of fishermen who sing sea shanties for their town, who get discovered by a tourist who happens to work for Island Records. It is based on a film of the same name and is a true story about a group of fishermen who love to sing.
The show begins and the back screen has not been lifted yet. The fishermen sing and chant with smoke machines filling in for the ocean. Just before their first song finishes, the screen is lifted and you are met with the Golden Lion, the main set for the musical, and is the heart and soul of the show.
Almost all the songs are sea shanties but the ones that are not, still sound like one. When Parisa Shahmir (who plays Alwyn) is singing about her village by the seaside, it’s her and her guitar with the band playing alongside her on stage. The band consists of nine members playing various instruments including the cello, the violin, the guitar and drums but played on a box instead. They do that throughout where they use props to make music, which is most likely what they did in real life.
Parisa Shahmir was a highlight for me. Despite the show being about the fishermen and how they rose to fame and kept to their roots, she grounds the main character Jim (who was played by Hadrian Delacey for the performance). This show is about love, whether it is between friends, family, or between two people, Parisa Shahmir was doing it all. Shahmir gets two solos, a song about her town and a song about a mermaid (which was my favourite). She sang with such heart and soul that I can feel her emotions from the stage to my seat thirteen rows away. In the show, they say that the sea shanties are their history, which explains a lot in her solos as she sings about her life and growing up.
The set was designed by Lucy Osborne who did a fantastic job too! The exits and entrances are put in places where it looks natural. At some points, you’re looking around trying to find where the voice is coming from because you saw the actor leave but now, they are on the other side of the stage. The set does need to change a few times to different locations so when they do change, it is seamless. They also use crates as seats, and they sing during the set changes to fill the silence that would usually be there.
Overall, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, is a fun and wild show that could rival Mamma Mia! With the show’s easy-going nature and perfectly timed comedy, it really is a show for everyone.
So, if your friends are your family, you can catch Fishermean’s Friends at The Lowry from Wednesday the 28th till the 1st of October.
Tickets for Fisherman’s Friends The Musical
Get your tickets here