Another outing for put-upon mother-of-three Ruth Rich, Something Fishy charts an ill-fated school trip to Marrakech. As a piece it stands on its own without its chronological predecessor Double Booked, although I feel I enjoyed it more having been acquainted with its characters the previous day.
Writer-performer Ginny Davis once again shows off her skills for plotting elegant situational comedy. Ruth tags along on a school trip to chaperone her wayward son Freddie. Home alone is daughter Ellie on strict instructions not to misbehave. Each character is a potential liability for Ruth as she tries to keep control of her family and friends over two continents.
Infused with Moroccan sounds and hues, the show does a good job of evoking exotic Marrakech. Davis’ repertoire of sharply observed characters is extended to include mysterious Souk-dwellers, as well as the more familiar snooty Tim’s Mum and Ruth’s own dotty Welsh mother. Energetically yet faithfully realised, these bit-parts are instantly recognisable and constantly charming.
This time the threads carefully woven at Davis’ writer’s-desk frayed slightly, leaving a few loose ends and a less satisfying dénouement than in Double Booked. The English teacher Mr Williams, for example, wafted in and out without ever really getting involved, potentially to the consternation of those audience members who hadn’t the first-hand experience of his previous significance.
This show is worth seeing for the craft of its creator as a feat of both precise penmanship and personable performance.