Be warned, this review containers spoilers. It has spoilers because I sat through Fish Tank, and I don’t think you should have to.
A couple holds a funeral for their fish tank. The woman broke it. The husband walked in on her covered in water and blood (from the broken glass) and now he’s trying to get her to do meditation to help her relax. But in a few minutes, he’s yelling at her. There are flashbacks to their time in therapy, a very odd encounter with a pet store employee, and their time in college.
While the dialogue is intended to be biting and funny, it’s just eye-rolling and cringe-worthy. Imagine Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf written by the guys who do Jackass and you’ll get an idea of what Fish Tank is; all a little sophomoric.
Required to play multiple roles, the actors have a tough time creating one, let alone two. Some fault also lies with the director as the pacing is sluggish, simple costume changes take forever, and the actors pace aimlessly around the stage.
There’s one plot twist, or there would be if by the time it arrived I cared anything about these characters. Turns out the woman has had a miscarriage, and the image of seeing his wife covered in blood and water triggers a memory. He then belittles and blames the woman for losing the baby. If it’s supposed to be funny, it’s not. If it’s supposed to be dramatic, it’s not. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be because I had already started planning dinner by this point.
Fish Tank continues at the Neptune Windsor Studio (1589 Argyle St, Halifax) as part of the Halifax Fringe Festival. Visit halifaxfringe.ca for tickets and information.