This adorable little show, about a family who survives a tsunami in Japan, is weird-artsy as all get-out, and charming to boot.

Co-Creator/Performer Sachie Mikawa weaves a magically-real tale about a young girl, resident in a rambling inter-generational noodle house by the sea, and her relationship with a denizen of the deep known as Mister Fish, who is also the tale’s narrator.

I really enjoyed a lot of this show, beginning with Mikawa’s endearing performance. From the moment the lights come up, I was hooked, line and sinker, on the story. Mikawa is telling a story inspired by true events, when her mother and sister were missing for three days following the very real japanese tsunami in 2011.

The script is quite hilarious, in a weird sort of way, with laughter bubbling out of the audience seemingly at Mikawa’s will. I will warn you, however, that if something about the sound of slurping noodles makes you uncomfortable, this is a show you definitely ought to miss. For my part, I immediately left the theatre in search of ramen.

Mikawa makes frequent use of beautiful projections as an atmospheric and storytelling tool, and I really enjoyed the moments when the actor interacted with the projections in small magical bits of sleight-of-hand, and evocative imagistic moments. Unfortunately, the projections also gave rise to the part of this production that worked the least well, particularly the integration of the projections with the basic storytelling and narration. Part of this is no doubt simply a limitation of the LNS studio space in which the piece is performed, but I found, for example, the fish costume bobbing in and out of the blue front-projected light from the undersea projection incredibly distracting. I have a feeling, based on the strong physical performance Mikawa displays throughout the piece, that with a bit more time to work in the space and the presence of her usual director or stage manager (who was unable to make it to the run in Ottawa), these issues would transform from a distracting side-effect, into a seamless integration of live performance with digital projection.

Despite some strange technical hangups, and a brand new stage manager, this show will have you slurping noodles and feeling feels.

Fish Saw
Created by Sachie Mikawa & George Lewis
Produced by Rundown Cutehouse & Sachie (Sendai, Jp & Buenos Aires, Ar)

LNS Studio B
Saturday, June 17 8:00pm
Sunday, June 18 1:00pm

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