Printable CopyWOT! NO FISH?
Adelaide College of the ARTS
Until 07 Mar 2017

Review by Maggie Wood

Danny Braverman is someone who holds tradition with strong affection. As he shambles on to the stage with zero fanfare, clutching a tatty shoe box, he informs us that true to his Jewish heritage no one should leave without being fed. From there he produces appropriate nourishment and makes sure everyone is sated before commencing the story proper.

Except, what he’s done is part of the story – the story of his grandmother’s sister and her husband, Celie and Ab Solomons. Ab was a shoemaker in London, and every week on his pay packet he would draw a picture that illustrated a moment in his and Celie’s life, before duly handing the packet to her each Thursday evening.

This continued from 1926 until 1982. After the death of Celie and Ab’s eldest son, Danny acquired the shoebox of memories and from its contents has weaved a story that is both highly personal and completely universal.

Through his storytelling we are drawn into the lives of these ordinary, yet extraordinary, people. A son and a daughter of refugees, living in London in tumultuous and changing times, their story causes us to see the connections between us all. We were all given cause to think about our own family history, and the resilience and courage of those who have gone before us, to enable us to be where we are now.

“Wot! No Fish? Is deserving of every accolade it receives. It is at once a sweeping saga and a homespun history tale.

The story is handled affectionately and gently in Braverman’s care, sprinkled with humour as well as sadness, and optimism as well as regret. It is full in sentiment without becoming sentimental, and it contains that certain ingredient that makes your Jewish Chrein or anything else you cook for someone else, taste wonderful; love.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)