Sunday, 21 April 2019

‘Fish out of water’ lands a real catch

‘Fish out of water’ lands a real catch

ANYONE who’s ever watched an episode of Doc Martin will be familiar with the beautiful fishing village of Port Isaac on the North Cornish coast.

As well as being home to the brilliantly curmudgeonly GP played by Martin Clunes, in real life Port Isaac is known for its association with sea shanty singers Fisherman’s Friends.

The eight-strong group have been performing locally since 1995 — almost a quarter of a century.

All but one of the original line-up grew up within half a mile of Port Isaac harbour. Three were fisherman and the other were linked to the sea through their service as coastguards or lifeboatmen.

In 2010, having previously released two albums on an independent label, the group signed with Universal Music in a move that pretty much made them household names when their next album became a top 10 hit.

Now their story is coming to the big screen courtesy of the creative team behind 2017 romantic comedy Finding Your Feet.

Danny, a fast-living and hard-bitten London music executive reluctantly heads to Cornwall on a colleague’s stag weekend, where he is pranked by his boss into trying to sign a group of shanty-singing fishermen.

In the process, he becomes the ultimate “fish out of water” struggling to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band who value friendship and community over fame and fortune.

Attempting to overcome the group’s scepticism about the music business, he finds himself drawn into the community, has his integrity tested and ultimately is shown the meaning of loyalty, love and friendship. This forces him to re-evaluate what really matters in life — ultimately giving him the chance of a different kind of success.

Fisherman’s Friends is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse cinema from today (Friday).

This week’s special screenings start at 2pm on Sunday with a showing of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie — the award-winning five-star hit musical currently lighting up the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

Jamie New is 16 and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. He doesn’t quite fit in. He is terrified about the future. But he is going to be a sensation. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.

Someone who has been in the spotlight for a long time and deservedly so is the Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Her life and career are honoured in Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, showing on Thursday (March 21) at 8.30pm.

Matthew Wilson

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