(FringeGuru – Buxton Festival Fringe 2012)
(www.fringereview.co.uk – Brighton Fringe 2012)
(www.whatsonstage.com – Brighton Fringe 2012)
Running time 70 minutes.
“People complain about not being able to choose their family. I’ve always found not being able to choose the parents of your children’s friends to be far worse.”
Never far from the flood of chaos created around her by family and friends, renowned mother of teenagers, Ruth Rich, relates another hilarious tale of the unexpected. Forced by circumstance to accompany her son, his friend and his friend’s mother abroad, Ruth leaves a daughter at home to look after the house … Why is she the only one unable to recognise a recipe for disaster?
“There are many, many memorable passages…… your facial expressions and voices are superb….you bring happiness and laughter to many.”
Jeff Berliner (Ettington audience – 4 May 2012)
“I loved it. It really made me laugh.” …..”Brilliant.”….”Very clever and very slick.” ….”Very clever and funny.” “Awesome. The woman behind was about to expire she was laughing so much.”
(Bridge House Theatre audience 3 October 2012)
BUXTON FESTIVAL FRINGE FringeGuru *****
Friday, 20 July 2012
‘Your mother should know’, intones Macca at the beginning – and after three previous Fringe shows you would have thought that Ruth might, indeed, know by now. But she stumbles along in the same way as last year, as writer and actor Ginny Davis endures the trials of motherhood in this hilarious and instantly-recognisable depiction of family mores.
Following on from last year’s Double Booked, Ruth is again at odds with the various members of her family and associated characters. We find her arguing with her son Fred, the all-too recognisable teenager for whom the world is, well, boring; Ellie, her daughter trapped in the tunnel of adolescence; friend Tim’s vacuous yummy mummy; and her own feckless husband. Ruth is at the centre of everything, as she tries to juggle all aspects of Guardian-reading middle-class life.
According to the plot, son Fred is banned from school trips so severely that he can only participate if his mother chaperones him – at best a dubious arrangement. She, in turn, contrives to invite Tim’s mum along. Tim is Fred’s best friend and worst influence, and his mum is a glamorous but empty-headed flirt with whom Ruth has history – you might have thought she would have known better. Like the dictionary, they’re Morocco-bound, with two teachers accompanying the trip: a smarmy Lothario who’s an ex to both ladies, and control freak Mrs Dobbs. It’s a disaster waiting to happen… oh, and she leaves clueless daughter Ellie home alone, sort of.
Davis plays all these characters, and it’s sometimes hard to believe we are watching just one actor on stage. The panicky, over-fussy mother will be familiar to many, as will the grunting, monosyllabic son and the sarcastic daughter. The facial expressions and intonation – “whatever!” – suggest Davis has spent rather too much time studying teenage behaviour in the local comprehensive. The useless husband is effectively if briefly portrayed, while Tim’s bitchy and superficial mum is brought to life by inane comments and over the top body language. Brief cameos include a very realistic Moroccan street vendor… and a personal favourite, Ruth’s batty and hard-of-hearing Welsh mother.
The pace stays swift, and the passage from one character to the next is seamless. The set looks appropriately middle-English, with gaudy wraps and sofa covers, and incidental music is well-chosen for the topic. The writing is sharp, with many memorable turns of phrase – Tim’s mum, for example, can cause the maximum offence with the minimum effort (how sad that one is unable to choose the parents of one’s friends!) Capping it all, the surprise ending neatly brings together several threads running through the story.
The whole experience is a little like a column written in a worthy newspaper by Bridget Jones, confronting a MILF, all seen through the eyes of Adrian Mole… but I mean that comparison in an entirely positive way. The story seems likely to run and run, and I recommend that you witness it as soon as you can. All aboard the train!
Rous Lench Village Hall - March 1 2014
“Something Fishy” going on in the Hall!!
Ginny Davis once again brought her incredibly astute brand of wit and observation in another of her series about a middle aged middle class mum, Ruth Rich, coping with a busy husband and three (now older) teenagers. As all parents know, the challenges faced change as children grow and demand more freedom – but where do you draw the line?? This time Ruth was faced with accompanying her son on a school trip to Marrakesh, while leaving her daughter home alone for the first time. The Hall was packed to the rafters on Saturday 1st March and, after a “fishy” ploughmans supper, everyone evidently thoroughly enjoyed Ginny’s portrayal of her brilliantly thought out one woman show and her ability to characterise to a T teenage “speak”, mannerisms and anxieties. Having previously performed at the Edinburgh Festival, Ginny was delighted to draw such an appreciative audience here in Rous Lench, and we do hope we can tempt her back again in the near future with another of her wonderful plays. Fran Herdman
A TRULY 'LAUGH OUT LOUD' EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON HERALD MARCH 8TH 2012
Ginny Davis thoroughly entertained a capacity audience in Wellesbourne Village Hall on Saturday evening with the premiere of her latest one woman play, Something Fishy, the fourth instalment in the life of Ruth Rich, a middle-class, middle-aged mother residing in middle England.
This was a `laugh out loud` evening as Ms Davis’s near flawless production moved seamlessly from character to character.
We were introduced to her sullen, monosyllabic son isolated from the world by his noise-cancelling headphones, her hard-of-hearing denture-losing mother, her 17 year old daughter who hits deep adolescent angst when she finds she is unable to access her Facebook account and the cosmetically enhanced mother of her son`s friend, Tim, “a woman blessed with the skill of giving maximum offence with minimum effort.”
Ms Davis, as Ruth Rich, stands in the epicentre, deftly drawing her audience into the story of this not quite in control housewife and mother as she acccompanies her son`s school party to Marrakesh, leaving her daughter, she hopes, “home alone.”
She is a keen observer of the minutiae of family life and it was obvious from the laughter and audience engagement that we clearly recognised friends, family members and perhaps even ourselves, in this excellent production.
We are blessed to have such a fine local writer and actor in our midst. For those not familiar with her work, imagine a one person, teenaged years version of TV`s Outnumbered with a hint of Ab Fab.
A delightful solo performance of an amusing family comedy. ****
Brighton Fringe 2012 – www.fringereview.co.uk – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SHOW
Something Fishy is a delightful family comedy, giving an hour of warm chuckles and occasional prolonged laughter. Beautifully performed by the writer, Ginny Davis, this is the fourth of a series of one-woman plays based on the problems of everyday family life with teenagers, and would appeal to anyone who has or has had teenagers in the house, and also to the teenagers themselves.
This particular play is the story of a mother who, in order to allow her otherwise banned 16 year old son to participate in his school trip to Morocco, ends up not only chaperoning him there herself, but against her better judgement allowing her 17 yr old daughter to be home-alone looking after the house, agreeing to her son’s equally uncontrollable friend accompanying them, and worse of all, the friend’s glamorous and manipulative mother ( who is the person she would least ever want to go on holiday with) comes too.
Ms Davis people’s the stage with these differing characters, as well as assorted teachers and Arabs, the husband, the elder daughter….if I have left anyone out it was because I was too engrossed and amused to make any notes. It’s a light-hearted , frothy mixture of anticipated laughs and original surprises (like the henna incident, which I won’t spoil for future audiences by describing -suffice it to say that there are worse things boys could get up to at an airport!)
The story flowed well and developed delicious twists and turns. The clever use of mobile phones and texts allows the stories of home and abroad to mingle. With a simple set, well chosen music and sound effects and the use of a few props the different scenes were suggested, whether it was the house, the journey or a souk. Ms Davis by expression and body language clearly defined each character, and the two teenagers particularly were hilariously accurate, easily recognised by any parent in the audience .
I felt at the end that there could have been a little more variety of pace, and the dramas of the return home could have built up to a stronger climax, but the final incident not only rounded off the piece but came as a big surprise. Performed at the friendly Marlborough Theatre at 6pm, Ms David is to be congratulated for giving us a truly happy hour!
Whatsonstage.com Review ****
Date Reviewed: 12 May 2012
As the audience takes their seats, at the little Marlborough Theatre, they all seem ready to have some fun. The simple, but very effective set, is enhanced with the use of some excellent sound effects, and together they create a very comfortable atmosphere into which Ruth Rich Ginny Davis enters, and her one-woman play begins.
Rich is a middle class, middle aged, mother of three who lives in middle England. Her youngest child Fred has been banned from taking any school trips unless his mother accompanies him, and so, as we join the action, preparations are being made for the two of them to embark on a journey.
We are quickly drawn in to her chaotic world as she attempts to get everything in order for the trip to Marrakesh, with Fred being of very little help with the task. Her mind is not only preoccupied with the journey but she is also worried that her 17 year old daughter will be staying behind at home, alone – or so she thinks!
Davis is a keen observer of the many and varied happenings that take place in busy family life and it is obvious from the laughter and the total engagement of the audience that we all recognise family members, relatives and ourselves in her keen observations.
Her sullen, monosyllabic, son causes her almost non -stop grief and isolates himself from the world with his noise cancelling earphones unless he is getting stoned at the souk with his best friend Tim. Ruth loathes Tim`s mother “a woman blessed with the skill of giving maximum offence with minimum effort”, but has to tolerate her because Tim is Fred`s best friend.
The scene changes from the airport to the flight, the ryad and the souk with one of the highlights of the performance being a superbly hilarious sketch, in which they wrongly interpret the call to prayer from the local mosque as a political coup.
Whilst Ruth is in Marrakesh she is having constant phone calls from her daughter Ellie who is hysterical at not being able to access Facebook and is full of teenage angst. The “fishy” part of the play arises from Fred’s acquisition of seven goldfish named after the seven deadly sins and their fate!
I won’t give any more away, except to say that this is an excellent production and a laugh out loud evening.