ANGRY SALMON 2022 | British Youth Music Theatre


Inspired by true stories from our oceans, this funny and imaginative new musical is bubbling with humour, big characters and adventurous songs. Set in a big cartoonish stead world, this is an amusing tale with an important story at its heart about taking care of ourselves and our planet.

Every year, thousands of salmon escape from salmon-farms in their masses. Ill-fit for life back in the wild, they are unable to find food, unable to migrate efficiently, and unable to connect with their fellow wild salmon. The salmon are angry.
We meet the inhabitants of a thriving fish-farm, who work their fins to the bone in order to be the best. Once a month, the Sky Ceremony happens, and the Humans lower their net to select those who will go on to ‘paradise’... Leo (the mayor’s eldest daughter) is sick of their non-stop way of living, and when disaster strikes, she initiates a mass escape through a crack in the farm’s borders. Suddenly, they find themselves in the deep blue sea, with one aim: find their fellow salmon.

Our Co-Writer, Composer and Musical Director, Jordan Paul Clarke, spoke to West End Best Friend about his work on the project. To read the full article, click the link at the bottom of the page.

Angry Salmon is a bold, moving, and funny show about families who don’t see fin to fin, and embracing change rather than accepting things the way they are “just ‘coz that’s how it’s always been”. It’s an original musical with brand new songs and a story that will make you laugh and break your heart. It’s unlike anything else you’ll see on stage this summer, and it’s a show that the whole family will enjoy.

I’m always in love with the worlds of puppetry, Pixar and quirky animations like The Mitchells VS The Machines, or Arlo the Alligator Boy (highly recommend), so for quite some time I've wanted to create a stage musical that lived in a similar, fantastical animal world. Later that day, I had a draft of a story about a family of salmon leading a mass escape out of a salmon farm, and initiating an uprising against the humans running the out-of-hand corporate fishing industry. It was madness, and absolutely something I wanted to make.

I feel very lucky to be with BYMT as the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer - an annual residency awarded to a musical theatre writer with a different theatre institution each year. It feels like fate that I’ve been offered the chance to work with BYMT - the values of the company resonate with me and the emphasis on new writing is a massive priority for the company. There’s nothing like getting a new story and a new score up on its feet, and to work on this show with a huge group of phenomenal young actors is a privilege in every way. I’ve also had the chance to work with a fantastic chamber orchestra of young musicians from all across the UK, who have excelled in their role as newfound pit-musicians. It’s rare you get to write a new musical and do it with a full band in such a short time, and it’s an epic and special experience playing this new music with the next generation of the west-end’s pit-band-players.’

We also spoke to Ollie Coates, one of our young performers and a member of the cast, on his experience of working on Angry Salmon over the summer.

‘I absolutely loved being a part of Angry Salmon, every single day brought a new challenge and I found myself improving so fast over the 2 weeks whilst also having so much fun. Everyone who played a part in the production was a joy to work with and I've made several friends for life! The environment was so inspiring and accepting, I have never felt so loved for being myself and I can safely say they were the best 2 weeks of my life! I will carry every lesson and experience I had on this course with me throughout my career, and I really believe BYMT helped me grow into a better person, I can't recommend it enough!’

Angry Salmon ran at Theatre Royal Plymouth in August 2022. Head over to our social media pages to see snippets of this incredible production.