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Fisherman's Friends: The Musical

Fisherman's Friends: The Musical

The true story of the world’s most unlikely buoy-band.

When a group of Cornish fisherman come together to sing the traditional sea shanties they’d sung for generations, they hoped to raise a few quid for charity. Nobody, least of all them, expected the story to end on the Pyramid stage of Glastonbury…

Fisherman’s Friends is a brand-new musical based on the true story of the Cornish singing sensations, and the hit 2019 film.

A group of fishermen are spotted by a fish-out-of-water music manager on a trip from London, who must learn there is more to life then selling your sole for fifteen minutes of fame.

Packed with more musical treats than you can fit in a lobster pot, this is a feel-good voyage about friendship, community and music, which smashed box office records when it premiered in Cornwall in Autumn 2021.

So climb aboard, find your sea legs and allow yourself to fall for this critically acclaimed musical, hook, line and sinker.

Directed by James Grieve and with a book by Amanda Whittington, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical features choreography by Olivier Award nominee Matt Cole, Set and Costume Design by Lucy Osborne, Lighting Design by Johanna Town, Sound Design by Dan Samson, Casting by Jim Arnold and musical supervision by David White.

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Fisherman's Friends: The Musical ON TOUR

Our review on Fisherman's Friends: The Musical

Fisherman's Friends - The Musical - The Lowry, Salford - Tuesday 27th September 2022 by Lizzie Johnston

Our Rating

Fisherman’s Friends is an instantly recognisable title, whether you’re a fan of the film or have grabbed a pack of the sweets before. SPOILER ALERT: It’s not about the sweets! The story is one many people know and already has quite a big fan following, this is something I picked up on as soon as we entered the theatre. As we took our seats, we were transported to the seaside with the sound of seagulls chirping and waves crashing echoing around the auditorium.



The show is based on the true story of Port Isaac’s singing sensations whose irresistible story has been immortalised on the big screen, and now as a musical. When a group of Cornish fishermen came together to sing the traditional working songs they’d sung for generations, nobody, least of all the fisherman, expected the story to end on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. They are spotted by a fish-out-of-water music manager on a trip from London, who must learn that there is more to life than selling your soul for fifteen minutes of fame.



The heart and soul of the community and sea shanties are at the core of this show and there was a real sense of friendship beaming from the cast. You could just tell they were having an absolute ball! The musicality and familiarity of the songs make this a brilliant feel-good voyage, it’s a real toe-tapper and you’ll probably surprise yourself with how many shanties you know - we all know the trending one from TikTok, right?



For me, the music was the star of the show. It was sung beautifully with impeccable harmonies and all the performers had insane voices. Instead of a band or orchestra, the cast could all play instruments, some playing several, and this added to both the musicality of the show and the sense of community and love for their village; they don’t want any outsiders influencing their ways. The array of instruments was fantastic, from guitars to the spoons, there really was a huge variety.



The set was fun, colourful and a fisherman’s heaven. Set over two levels with buoys, nets and robes placed around the mezzanine and a bar and boat that moved onto the stage smoothly to help transition into the different locations - from the Golden Lion pub, out at sea, and even a gay bar in London! The lighting stood out to me throughout the performance. It subtly faded and changed into different colours to portray the times of day -  from deep, dark colours for out at sea, to bright lights for daylight, and vibrant purple and orange for the sunrise and sunset.


The cast is fairly big with eight band members, the pub owners, friends and family, as well as others. Each cast member had a brilliant voice, excellent musicality and brought an element of fun to the show. Notable mention for the great Cornish accents too!



Hadrian Delacey (A Room with a View, Me and My Girl, Miss Saigon) stepped into the role of Jim, the unofficial band leader, for this performance (he’s the Resident Director and usually plays the role of Archie). You would never have guessed Delacey was usually playing a different character, he gave Jim depth, feeling and overall excellent characterisation, not forgetting his powerhouse voice. He brought both hostility and vulnerability to character showing how much he cares for his fellow fisherman and the band opportunities that lie ahead.


Alywyn, Jim’s daughter, was played by Parisa Shahmir (The Snow Queen, We Live in Cairo, Mamma Mia!). Shahmir’s voice was utterly stunning, a true talent on its own, and she used it superbly to show the different emotions of Alywyn. Jason Langley (Oslo, Hedda Gabler, War Horse) performed as Danny, the music manager from London. Langley takes Danny from an arrogant outsider to a true Fisherman’s Friend with just the right amount of cockyness, whilst being much of the story’s comic relief and having good comedic timing.



At the end of the production, the cast sang a couple of the top sea shanty hits, encouraging the audience to sing and clap along. A stand out for this particular moment wasn’t the cast itself but the various audience members who were true Fisherman’s Friends fans and were buzzing to join in - and isn’t that what theatre is all about? Fun, entertainment, and getting transported right into the story. A production which has that effect on the audience is a smash hit. Loved it.


The show was an all round feel-good about friendship, community and music that’ll have you leaving the theatre uplifted and humming sea shanties for the rest of the evening. It had me craving a trip to the seaside and a cone of chips! Head to The Lowry for an evening of fun before Fisherman’s Friends set sail!




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