Wot? No Fish!

Ab and Celie Solomons were a loving Jewish couple who experienced much happiness, joy and tragedy throughout their lives. Every week Ab would receive a pay packet and on the back of the envelopes he would draw a cartoon. These cartoons documented Ab and Celie's life together from 1926 until 1982. During this time, Ab illustrated the birth of their children, the hardship of World War II, the illness of one of their sons and a cancer diagnosis. Ab and Celie's story is told by writer and performer Danny Bravernan, who takes us on this illustrated journey.

Bravernan is a down to earth stage presence; his conversational tone and his ability to articulate the heartwarming story makes the performance seem intimate and special, and he has the ability to take you back to 1920's London and through to the 1980's.

Throughout Wot? No Fish!!, Danny Braverman sits behind a desk, and on this desk is a camera that projects images onto a screen behind the performer. Danny was given a box of his Great Uncle Ab's belongings by a relative and in this box he discovered the illustrations. Each sketch is small, intricate and expertly drawn and often captioned with text, which the performer reads out with passion and exuberance. When Danny places the small illustrated envelopes underneath the camera, we are transported into the world of Ab and Celie.

The strength of Wot? No Fish!! is the story’s warmth. We discover that Ab stopped doing his illustrations after his wife died, but this is not the conclusion to the performance. The presentation of the final drawing is taken to a new level through animation and music; the touching and powerful imagery brought me close to tears and put my heart in my mouth. Wot? No Fish!! is an inspirational story that shows how images, art and fine storytelling can touch lives and entertain.

Reviews by Steven Fraser

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★★★
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Performances

The Blurb

Danny Braverman’s solo show takes us on a funny and moving journey that begins with the intriguing discovery of lost art by a deceased relative. An extraordinary story about love and art, history … and catering.