News: Ecological politics brought to life in new drama Yellowfin at Southwark Playhouse

A fiercely original new play fusing politically charged drama with biting comedy, Yellowfin delves into the backroom dealings of a future in which all of the world’s fish have inexplicably vanished. The worldwide premiere at Southwark Playhouse marks a new collaboration between two rising stars, writer Marek Horn (Wild Swimming) and director Ed Madden (A Table Tennis Play; Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons).

In a committee room on Capitol Hill, three senators question a man on suspicion of illegally trading rare marine commodities. He swears he abandoned the black market years ago, but his interrogators aren’t so sure. Yellowfin is a dazzling study of power and how far people will go to defend it.

Set in a world which is adapting to a ‘new normal’ of its own, this production offers a timely insight into our sense of citizenship and responsibility to the planet. Horn’s play combines the epic scope of an ecological parable with the detail of four finely-drawn character studies to take a hard but playful look at the world around us and the people who govern it. Yellowfin explores the limits of science and the power of myths, and asks: why must we always search for answers?

The production will be led by a talented creative team including set and costume designer Anisha Fields (Acis and Galatea, Buxton Opera House), lighting designer Rajiv Pattani (Dismantle This Room, Royal Court Theatre) and sound designer Max Pappenheim (The Night of the Iguana, Noël Coward Theatre).

Writer Marek Horn commented: “I wrote Yellowfin several years ago. Whereas once it seemed like an outlandish dystopian satire, it has since morphed into something more closely resembling documentary theatre. It is a play which director Ed Madden and I have long wanted to see on stage, so I’m delighted that it has found its moment. I know that along with the talented team of designers that he’s assembled, Ed is sure to do justice to a play which is very dear to my heart. I simply can’t wait for people to see what they do with it.”

Director Ed Madden adds, Yellowfin is a major achievement by a singular writer; richly surprising and with a style all its own, it is exactly the kind of theatrical challenge that made me want to become a director. Having been postponed from dates last autumn, I am hugely grateful to the producers and Southwark Playhouse for their continued commitment to the production, and can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room.

Yellowfin will run at Southwark Playhouse from Wednesday 13 October to Saturday 6 November 2021.

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