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Photography by James Ireland   

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In Development

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Stock Image and Image 2 by James Ireland

About the play


Giant Catfish have invaded and eaten all of Britain. It’s a colonial nightmare. 


20 years ago seven people went on a holiday to Albufeira, and whilst they were away scores of hungry slimy catfish devoured their partners and their friends and their homes. Stuck in Portugal, huge, horrible questions fuelled a split in their friendships and they broke into two competing gangs. Where’s better, the pool or the beach? Both sides thought they knew. Now the people-devouring catfish have reached Portugal - and it's time for our heroes to finally fight back.

This may look like a light-hearted comedy about summer holiday mafias and giant fish, but under the surface lurks environmental conflict, colonialism, land (or water), and animal rights in the Anthropocene. As they face off in a monumental finale with the fish and with each other, they each have to come to terms with the question: are some crimes too big to forgive?

Mother Catfish was supported in development by the Act II Festival, London, 2019. As part of the festival the play was given a public work-in-progress performance at the Arcola Theatre, directed by Chloe Vollenweider. 

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