Fishermen and Shanties galore at Milton Keynes

The world premiere production of FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS: THE MUSICAL is set to visit Milton Keynes Theatre 04 – 08 October with an all star cast. 


FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS: THE MUSICAL is based on the true story of the Cornish singing sensations, Fisherman’s Friends, and the hit 2019 film about their life.  When a group of Cornish fishermen came together to sing the traditional working songs they’d sung for generations, they hoped to raise a few quid for charity.  Nobody, least of all the fishermen, expected their story to end on the Pyramid stage of Glastonbury.  Packed with sea shanties, FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS is a feelgood voyage about friendship, community and music.

Featuring hit shanties made famous by the band including Keep Haulin’Nelson’s BloodNo Hopers Jokers & Rogues and many more.

FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS: THE MUSICAL is produced by ROYO with Flying Fish Productions, Mighty Village, Island Records, David Mirvish and Cornwall Playhouse Productions

Unfortunately for me, I had a seat in one of several patches in the circle at MKT with a sound problem that I have complained about over the years! Maybe its time for the sound engineer to actually take a walk round the entire theatre! So, wether it was this technical problem or not but several of the cast sounded as though 8 shows a week was telling on their voices! Although the actual words being sung ldidn’t reach us in our little corner of the row F in the circle i did speak to several of the more fortunate audience members during the interval and they confirmed my suspicion that the show might benefit from a re-think to get a little more book and maybe a couple less shanties! By the interval (72mins in) we only got as far as the record producer persuading the fishermen to record their first try. As the umpteenth shanty started for no apparent reason – but then if there was a reason i wouldn’t have heard it! – i almost expected cries of ”Oh get on with it!”

When I saw the original documentary I was truly excited at the wonderful story of the Fishermen’s Friends. I liked very much the idea of the musicians being part of the cast, I liked the set, I thought they got round the problem of having mostly the fishing inn but sometimes scenes in the boat in a rough sea so well – I just felt that the lib could be revised even at the cost of a couple of verses of shanty! The man sitting one side of me loved and joined in with every sea shanty, whereas the man sitting the other side of me slept through a great deal of it. so I dont expect everyone to agree with my thoughts.

Fisherman’s Friends is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 8th October.

Box Office: 0844 871 7615 or online: ATGTICKETS.COM/MILTONKEYNES

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