Fishbowl (4 stars)

This article is from 2019


credit: Fabienne Rappeneau

Refreshing physical comedy set in a cramped, Parisian apartment block

Having won the esteemed Moliere award in its native country, SIT Productions Fishbowl is a delightful physical comedy about three individuals living in close quarters at the top of a Parisian block of flats. Without a single word spoken for the entire performance, the show is a montage of skits, depicting everything from birthday parties to bras taken by the wind. Fishbowl is a skilfully crafted performance that renews the relatively outdated form of farce through its slick timing and heart-warming characters.

The set, designed by Laura Leonard, is the star of the show. The details of each flat reflect the characteristics of the three roles, filling in the gaps left by the lack of dialogue, meanwhile many surprises are built in to provide slapstick comedy along the way. Expect toilet humour and banana skin-style tumbles galore.

The narrative that begins to form guides the audience through this 75-minute, wordless performance, however some of the themes are too ambitious for a comedy entirely free of script. While the actors' astounding physicality produce deft comedy, the reference to darker themes falls short in the silence. However, a fantastic post-bow skit saves the day, serving as a reminder of the play's immense strengths. Fishbowl is a testament to the capacity for farce as an incredibly intelligent form of theatre, combining the effectiveness of comedy timing with an outrageously ridiculous setup for guaranteed laughs all the way.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug, 1pm, £15.50 (£13.50).


  • 4 stars

Winner of France’s Molière Award for Best Comedy Play 2017, Fishbowl now makes its UK premiere, bringing its farcical antics and physical comedy extravaganza to Pleasance Grand. In perfectly choreographed pandemonium, it follows the hilarious misadventures of three eccentric and lovable anti-heroes as they spectacularly…