In Our Hands was initially conceived out of a creative desire to extend the numbers of performers and see what possibilities this could create on stage. We invited our long terms collaborators, Luke Breen and George Bellamy to join us for the creation process as we have previously worked with them on large scale, outdoor work but never with an indoor touring show.
We shut ourselves in a room for two days and discussed what we wanted this show to be about. We settled on trawler fishing as a result of divided opinions within the cast. Each person had a very different perspective on it, ranging from a fully fledged vegetarian and ex-Sea Life Centre employee to someone who grew up on a farm with a kill to eat mentality. It was this conflict that sparked our interest in the show and we have been developing these ideas since June 2014. What we are showing you tonight is the finished product, a story about Alf and his plight within the fishing industry.
In Our Hands is a story about Alf, a trawlerman. The pressures and difficulties of the fishing industry are integral to the narrtaive as Alf struggles to support both his boat and the crew that operate it. The bills start to pile up and Alf begins to crumble but it is the repairing of Alf’s broken relationship with his son that provides a heartfelt human anchor for this story. Although the bills may be mounting up and Alf is pushed to the edge, In Our Hands is a story about positivity in adversity which sees him rise again to rescue the life he loves.
The audience are transported onto the deck of Alf’s boat, The Catcher’s Fortune, into his home, under the sea and into the city of London through an innovative use of props and a chameleon-like set that shifts and changes throughout the show. There are three scales used which allow us to zoom in and out, showing the vast size of the ocean. We have once again teamed up with Samuel Wyer (Les Enfants Terribles) who designed the set and co-designed the puppets for In Our Hands.
The visuals and humour within In Our Hands are carefully balanced with the factual elements about trawler fishing and this has been aided greatly by working with fishing organisations such as Marine Economics, Centre for Enviroment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
We also met many people who are directly affected by the trawling industry, developing the show in both London and Cornwall. The narrative for In Our Hands has been greatly inspired by Stefan Glinski, a Cornish Sardine fisherman, who saw the potential in fishing sardines, adapted his boat to catch them and is almost single handedly responsible for their rise in popularity and the now hugely successful Cornish Sardine industry. Stefan’s story inspired part of the narrative of In Our Hands.
In Our Hands runs in the ACT main house on 12th July at 7pm