The Gray Cat and the Flounder

Theatre (music, musical theatre)

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  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 18 months


Total Theatre Award nominee PNME Theatre of Music is back! Based on a true story, this show is a touching tale of life, loss and the true nature of friendship. Using headphones to give each audience member an immersive 360º sound experience like no other, the company weaves together music, animation, imagined ballet and humour into a story that reminds us that with a shared sense of silliness and the freedom to express it, we can draw the world as we wish it to be! Written by Kevin Noe and Kieren MacMillan.

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: There are 12 steps into space.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Brian Rust 23 days ago

I begin this by saying I have no one to blame but myself. I saw the picture on the poster, saw puppetry mentioned, and stupidly assumed this would be a nice fluffy childrens show that would make a nice break after some heavy Shakespeare.

Instead, Jesus Christ, it almost broke me.

Between the beautiful show itself, finding out their violinist was ill in the hospital (all my best thoughts for them) and then finding out the real Flounder was in the audience...I came very close to being a total blubbering mess. I thought I was handling it pretty well until one of the singers thanked me for coming and I tried to respond and just went “blaaauuuw” instead and scuttled off.

Also, did you realize that if you ever don’t want to be bothered by flyerers, just have tears and mucus on your face as they approach you? I haven’t had so many appalled looks since my time as a birthday party clown when I showed up at the wrong house during a wake.

This show is beautiful! It celebrates two creative and funny souls who were lucky enough to find each other, but it also finds beauty and complexity in what at a glance would look like very simple, humble lives. I want to compare it to an Ali Smith novel but that’s not right, it’s it’s own beautiful thing.

Just bring Kleenex.

Alastair McInnes 24 days ago

I wasn't sure what to expect and, from the off, this show is unusual. Sit at the back, put on headphones. It's unlikely you've been to one like it and I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's probably not for everyone and you're not going to be laughing all the way through, or singing along to the songs. It's more of a meditation on a love story and the peace and quiet afforded by the setup really makes it work.

Gareth 25 days ago

I must have gone to a different show to everyone else because myself and 4 friends found the narrative linear and the characters underdeveloped....I sat there wishing it to end, and hating myself due to all the effort that had gone in to developing the music and the surround sound effects. The narrative was twee, obvious, sickly - a man and a woman who loves libraries married and drew pictures of a cat and a fish and suddenly I was supposed to care. It all felt so pointless. About 20 minutes of the show is taken up by the woman character reading out library classifications systems - I found myself not caring. And still I have no idea what a flounder is.

Agnes Joyce Wells 29 days ago

What a great show! A tremendous love story! Singers had great quality in their voices.

Wayne Howsen 32 days ago

This is a beautiful show - really slick, amazing quality sound and surprisingly really moving and life affirming. All of our family were moved to tears. Stunning and highly recommended.

Mike Shapiro 36 days ago

Worth attending for the lush, evocative music, which is alternately contemporary, traditional, or (accessibly) atonal. One particularly memorable sequence turns a recitation of library cataloguing techniques into the basis for a sometimes-mimetic, sometimes-accompanimental piece for winds and marimba. The use of audience headphones and musicians positioning themselves around a binaural mic is striking, effectively allowing for a realtime music mix and a listening experience similar to that of a studio album. (Not to mention perfect balance between music and vocals, which can't be taken for granted in live theater.)

Unfortunately I found the story to be cloyingly smug and self-congratulatory, turning the audience into outsiders, rather than sharing participants, in the private lives of the central couple. The effect is like eavesdropping on a couple while they call one another by cutesy nicknames for an hour - which is actually not far from the truth. However, in the end the music and musical performance win out, and I recommend the show for those elements.

Sean Davis 38 days ago

The Gray Cat and the Flounder (***)
This is a multimedia adaption of the cartoons drawn by a husband of he (flounder) and his wife (cat) as they shared 47 years together. We donned special headphones to listen an ensemble of strings and woodwinds as a narrator told of the couple’s life in the Pittsburg art scene as well as the adventures of the cat and flounder. Two actor/singers as well as shadow puppets provided a range of visual presentations for the accessible show.

This was the 27th most enjoyable of the 54 shows I have seen so far this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

Sue McKendrick 40 days ago

This was an amazing, fast-moving and sensitive show with a mix of wonderful music, singing, verse, animation and shadow puppets. I was transfixed from start to end by this story of companionship, love and loss. Everyone had a headset which initially seemed a bit of a gimmick but achieved some interesting and humorous surround sound effects - truly beautiful music. Thank you to the American cast and musicians for coming all this way to share this special show with us.

lyndsey connolly 40 days ago

WOW, this show made me feel as if the music and story were dancing around me and whispering in my ears. The use of headphones and the sweet story struck every single chord in my heart. This show is a masterpiece that everyone deserves to see.

Ian Castro 41 days ago

The use of a binaural microphone and headphones puts you right in the middle of the show. Its an immersive experience that's completely different to anything else I've seen.

Claire Landis 41 days ago

A sweet love story of a husband and wife told through incredible immersive sound technology. The use of headphones and a binaural microphone make it feel like you are a part of the story.

Lauren Neville 42 days ago

The Gray Cat and the Flounder is a heartwarming piece that tells the tale of a love story of two creative minds. The audience is provided with headphones to wear and the performers use a binaural microphone to wow the audience with music and sound all around them. This show is a beautiful story done in a unique way.

Jamie Hafner 42 days ago

The Grey Cat and the Flounder soars into the hearts of audience members with its stunning music and heartfelt story that overflows with love for a lifetime. The family friendly piece, which uses headphones to create surround sound while listening to The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble play a variety of beautiful music as singers and actors create a child like world filled with joy and hope. This emersive experience shines bright with wonder as it places audience members in the middle of a world that is for everyone and anyone.

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The List (3/5 stars) 25 days ago

Idiosyncratic musical theatre...

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Musical Theatre Review (3/5 stars) 31 days ago

This show is definitely worth experiencing. The staging is simple and the mixture of naivety and sophistication of the whole project is tangible and touching. It did leaving me thinking it was a piece full of great parts, but there is one final step yet to take with this production that could realise its capability to finally be greater than the sum of these parts.

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Southside Advertiser (5/5 stars) 31 days ago

This is a carefully and tenderly produced, directed and performed work from The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME) Theatre and through them the story of “The Gray Cat and the Flounder” is continuing, and I am sure that if you listen carefully, you will hear Gray Cat purring in appreciation somewhere out there.

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Deadline News (4/5 stars) 33 days ago

The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble have made a truly touching tribute to the memory of the couple’s life together, and at the same time created an exceptionally uplifting and engaging performance for audiences to enjoy.

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Miro Magazine (3/5 stars) 34 days ago

Based on a true couple (Bernadette Callery and Joseph Newcomer), The Gray Cat And The Flounder showcases that which the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble do best – bring innovative new technology to push the boundaries of contemporary music. Out of the box thinking here comes in the form of Michel, a 360° binaural microphone that allows the audience to feel as though they are immersed fully within the soundscape. By placing Michel on stage and playing around it, the performers can give compass points to composition, transferring the perception of distance to the audience through individual headphones.

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FringeReview 41 days ago

The Gray Cat and the Flounder tells the true 46-year love story of a couple from Pittsburgh.  Bernadette Gabrielle Callery, who is portrayed as the Gray Cat in the cartoons, was a librarian at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  Her husband Joseph Newcomer, who is drawn as the Flounder,...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.