Exam Piece presents...
By Jez Butterworth
Easter Week 3
A play about fishing – for love, for truth, and, most obviously, for fish.
A man has brought a woman to his rural cabin for a weekend of fishing and other sensual pleasures. But from the outset there are tensions. Both seem to have an ideal against which they are pressing this relationship. After a tussle, he reels her in and they depart.
We are back in the cabin – on the same night, we assume – but the woman, when she enters, is a different person.
Butterworth slips between time zones, pursuing one narrative arc with two different characters, demonstrating the tactics used to catch a mate and the slipperiness of the truth. The play becomes as mesmerising as a ghost story: the man is clearly haunted by the one that got away – but what happened to her and did she even exist? Yeats’s poem “The Song of Wandering Aengus” ripples through the piece and there’s an air of enchantment about it, like a folk ballad about a man who falls for the faerie queen.