Jo Rippier - Fine and Far Off

Verlag J. Schueck 2002

Jo Rippier lectured at the English Department of Frankfurt University for a number of years, during which time he was much involved in drama and wrote a fair number of plays. Fine and Far Off is the story of a day’s loch fishing, conducted on a set which includes two tables (joined together to form the boat) a couple of armchairs and a coffee table. The protagonists are a couple of retired gents called Denis and Bill and the boatman, Jamie, who is modeled on boatmen everywhere. There is a fourth man, who sits under the table and plays the fish, a small part, but nonetheless an important one.

The day begins with the usual discussion of fisherman’s weather and this sets the stage for the dialogue between the irascible Denis; Jamie the ghillie-philosopher; and Bill the peacemaker.

I have to admit to enjoying the play far more than I thought I might – by and large fishing and playwrights don’t seem to sleep easily together, but the author really does capture the essence of what a day on the loch with a poor boatman caught in the crossfire between two crusty gents of moderate angling ability is like, so if you are minded to tread the boards in the near future, Fine and Far Off might make an ideal vehicle for your bid for stardom. Or not.