North American Premiere of FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS: The Musical
November 27, 2022 - January 15, 2023 / Royal Alexandra Theatre
Tickets on sale Saturday October 1
David Mirvish is pleased to present the North American premiere of Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, a stage adaptation of the popular British film that was theatrically released in 2019 and began streaming on Netflix in April 2020. The film itself was based on the true story of a group of Cornish lobster fishermen who became a singing sensation when Universal Music began recording and distributing their songs in 2010.
Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, will play a strictly limited engagement November 27, 2022 to January 15, 2023 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday October 1.
Background to the Show
In 2009, BBC Radio presenter Johnnie Walker was on holiday in Cornwall when he came across two homemade CDs from a local group in Post Issac, a small fishing village. The CDs were made to raise funds for local charities. He was struck by the voices of the singers, the authenticity and passion of the music, and the selection of songs, all of them traditional songs of the seas that were handed down to them by their forefathers and which they had interwoven with a more contemporary folk sound and many dollops of humour.
Walker shared the CDs with his manager, Ian Brown, who was immediately smitten with the group and believed a larger audience needed to hear their music. Brown travelled to Port Issac and convinced the group to let him represent them. He then negotiated a contract with Universal Music Group, who released their first commercial album the following year. "Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends" went Gold. They became the first traditional folk act to land a spot on UK top ten chart. National and international attention followed, as did three more hit albums and concerts for tens of thousands of music lovers across the UK, Ireland and beyond. They even performed for HM The Queen at her Diamond Jubilee.
All this while still continuing to work their day jobs in Port Issac and environs. Their belief is that friendship comes first, with music a very close second.
The story of the group is too good to remain with the group, which is how and why the film Fisherman’s Friends came to be. A sequel, Fisherman’s Friends: One and All, which was released in the UK in August 2022, tells the story of the struggle of making the group's sophomore album.
A musical stage adaptation was also inevitable. ROYO commissioned a book from Amanda Whittington, who adapted the screenplay of the 2019 film and incorporated the group's music. Directed by James Grieve, the musical had its world premiere at The Hall for Cornwall in Truro in October 2021.
The musical was further developed and began an extensive tour in September 2022. It has received critical acclaim and played to sold-out houses.
“A gloriously feel-good musical!” - UK Theatre Web
“Just the kind of show everyone should go and see… Incredible!” - Birmingham Mail
“An unashamedly feel-good night out!” - ReviewsHub
“Head onto the high seas, tap your feet, clap your hands and enjoy!” - Curtain Call Reviews
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. Featuring hits made famous by the band including "Keep Haulin’," "Nelson's Blood,” "No Hopers, Jokers & Rogues" and many more, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical is a feel-good voyage about friendship, community and music.
The band said: “Well not only did they make a film that we are not in, now there is a musical which we are not in as they dint think we were handsome enough to play ourselves! But we’ve seen it and it’s bloody fantastic and the music will blow you away. And we are thrilled that our musical is on tour and coming to Toronto. You’re all going to have a brilliant time!”
Featuring 24 multi-talented actors and and musicians, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical creative credits are:
- written by Amanda Whittington, one of the UK’s most performed playwrights, having written Be My Baby for Soho Theatre, Ladies Dayfor Hull Truck and Satin n Steelfor Nottingham Playhouse;
- directed by James Grieve, former Joint Artistic Director of the innovative and aclaimed Paines Plough company and former Associate Director of the Bush Theatre;
- choreographed by the Olivier Award-nominated Matt Cole (Fiddler on the Roof at the Menier Chocolate Factory and the West End; Oklahoma! for Chichester Festival Theatre);
- designed, sets and costumes, by Lucy Osborne;
- lighting design by Johanna Town;
- musical supervision and arrangements by David White;
- sound design by Dan Samson;
- and casting by Jim Arnold.
Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical is produced by ROYO, Flying Fish Productions, Mighty Village, with Island Records, David Mirvish and Cornwall Playhouse Productions.