Pea Green Boat reflections

Just this past week, I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of Stewart Lee’s Pea Green Boat, not once but twice!

From the outset, I need to be clear that I am not, in any way, trying to write a theatre review here. I can barely structure a book review let alone dabble in critiquing immersive theatre. Let’s just call whatever this is that I am writing “reflections”. To add to that, I need to make a full disclosure and say that I have known Director Jim Fishwick for many years as I am friends with his mum and my son has been at school with his brother for gazonkadonks.

I loved Edward Lear’s Nonsense Songs when I was younger. They were weird and silly and enormously fun. One of the most famous, and delightful, of his poems is The Owl and The Pussy-cat which comedian Stewart Lee has appropriated into a darker, macabre tale of love and obsession whilst drifting pointlessly at sea. I love appropriated fiction. Whether it is posted up as fanfiction or fanart, whether it gets the rubber stamp of approval from publishers or production companies, there is something wonderful about a story that gets elaborated upon by many different storytellers. To add to that, every morning for this past month, I have woken up to my husband laughing at Stewart Lee youtube clips. I was already familiar with two major aspects of the theatre I was about to to take part in. In Jetpack Theatre Collective‘s reimagining of Stewart Lee’s reimagining of the Pea Green Boat, we the audience are cast afloat in a pea green boat, a real one.

Jetpack Theatre Collective's Pea Green Boat

Jetpack Theatre Collective’s Pea Green Boat

From here, the audience of three are addressed by the Owl (Hannah Cox)  who talks of her deep love for the Pussy-cat (Jim Fishwick), as inappropriate and species-challenged as their love may be. Meanwhile, the Pussy-cat sits behind us rowing across the water to meet the Turkey (Alexander Richmond) who is to marry them. Continue reading