Culture Vulture: Fish on Europa

Last Wednesday, Miguel, Bridget and I went down to the Guild Theatre to see Cryptophasia Theatre Company’s latest original musical: Fish On Europa. The musical, starring the incredible Ben Sheen and the even more amazing Brittany Lewis, transport the audience to a pre-apocalyptic world. The plot revolves around the brief encounter of two young twenty-somethings standing on the edge of a cliff as the world is about to end.

Before the show even started, the set had already transported us to this singular, extra-terrestrial-like universe. The simple yet stunning decor, consisting of a sandy beach surrounded by glittery galaxies reflected by the sea, was breathtaking. The show itself can be divided into two very different acts: The story begins as Bill, portrayed by Ben Sheen, swims back to the beach after a last dive in the coral reef, only to realize that someone had stolen his clothes. That’s when he meets Ava, portrayed by Britt Lewis, a girl he’s met years ago in his Spanish class as she fainted in his arms. She fearlessly tells him that she is planning on jumping off the cliff to take her own life before the world ends. Alternating between thought-provoking dialogues, insightful monologues and heart-breaking songs, he somehow manages to trick her into delaying her suicide. The second act plays gracefully with clichés, narrating the story of these two starcross lovers as Bill is forced to move to the Principality of Andorra. Their long and passionate phone conversations brought the audience (including Little Migzy Mig and Bridgie) to tears.

During an hour and half, the King sisters, Natasha and Felicia (script and music writers respectively) explored various themes such as the end of the world, fear of death and love. The brilliant light design reinforced this sense of contrast in between life and death, and the power balance in between the two characters. The atmosphere was almost unsettling at times, but a few jokes here and there managed to enlighten the sombre mood of the musical. Brittany’s magical voice left the crowd crying and asking more.

 Miguel’s Brief Addition:

Honestly, I don’t think a production has ever had such a profound impact on me. Fish On Europa was honestly breathtaking on many levels. The beauty of the set, despite being so simplistic and the subtle accentuations of the lighting were fantastic. The story was touching; two young adults who only get the opportunity to discover and explore their love days before the impact of a great storm. One priviledged and able to escape and the other of a lower class, facing an inescapable death. I loved everything. If there was a soundtrack, I would literally buy 10 of them. Everything was absolutely beautiful and I’m still left speechless and in tears by the memory of this original musical. If you didn’t go, you missed out on something beautiful!

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