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Fishskin Trousers comes to Park Theatre

Brett Brown

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

GEORGE Warren, in association with Park Theatre, is presenting Fishskin Trousers at the Finsbury Park venue – from October 17 to November 11, 2017.

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.

Robert Price directs a cast that includes Brett Brown, Jessica Carroll and Eva Traynor.

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).

Brown has also appeared in the film The Theory of Everything. A distinguished singer, his 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). She has also appeared on screen in the film Polar and on TV in Downton Abbey.

Eva Traynor recently played Ophelia in Hamlet for East Riding Theatre. Her other stage credits include Fishskin Trousers (Finborough Theatre and touring) and Kate in The Sea Plays (Old Vic Tunnels). Her screen work includes Queen of the Desert, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding and Shades of Love.

Fishskin Trousers is suitable for ages 12+.

Tickets: £14.50 Previews; £18 Full; £16.50 Concessions; £13 Child; £10 Young Patrons (October 17 – 24). To book, call the box office on 020 7870 6876 or visit

Times: Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.45pm; Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3.15pm.